Pre-Race Update

In August, our 9th generation solar car was finally unveiled. Polaris will be our team’s race vehicle, representing Canada in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Polaris is the fastest, lightest, and most efficient solar car in the team’s history, and has shown promising performances in testing.

Unveiling Polaris

Unveiling Polaris

Polaris features an asymmetrical catamaran design, which was first used by the team in Horizon. While the overall shape of the car is similar, Polaris boasts some exciting new features, such as a fully thermoformed poly-carbonate canopy, a composite roll cage, and a new DC brushless motor. Polaris is also significantly smaller, as the regulations for the 2017 BWSC allow 4m2 of panels as opposed to 6m2.

After the unveiling celebration, the remaining weeks of the summer were spent extensively testing Polaris and training the drivers. The Brantford Airstrip has been an ideal location for our team, and has provided our members with the experience needed for the more rigorous training in Australia. The team has now travelled to Darwin, where we are currently conducting final preparations for the race. With scrutineering starting on October 2nd, the team must make sure that Polaris is in its full race-ready configuration for daily testing. We have been fortunate enough to be hosted by Palmerston Senior College leading up to the race, giving us an excellent work space and environment in this critical time in the cycle.

Workshop at Palmerston

Workshop at Palmerston

Since Monday the 25th, solar car teams have been permitted to drive on public roads on Cox Peninsula. This allows teams to practice their caravan manoeuvres prior to setting off on the Stuart Highway. We have me up with a number of other teams already, and are prepared for some fierce competition at this year’s race.

Starting on October 8th, we will be on the road to complete the over 3000km race route from Darwin to Adelaide. We will be posting updates daily as we travel through the Outback, so stay tuned on our Facebook page to keep up with our team!

Polaris before its first drive on Australian roads

Polaris before the first drive on Australian roads

3D Printing at the Bluewater Technology Access Centre

With the development of technologies such as 3D printing, Blue Sky Solar Racing is always striving to maximize performance. This year we have gotten the chance to learn more about 3D printing technology, how it works, and how we can leverage it appropriately. With the help of the Bluewater Technology Access Centre (BTAC), we were able to explore 3D printing more in depth during this race cycle.

BTAC is located in Sarnia, Ontario, and serves as Lambton College’s frontline for industry innovation and 3D printing. BTAC allows for the design and development of products, parts, or prototypes faster than ever before, thanks to their precision 3D printing technology using selective laser sintering (Formiga 110). They also have an extensive collection of 3D scanning equipment (FARO HD laser scanner, FARO Edge arm and FARO Vantage laser tracker), as well as 3D design capabilities with Solidworks and Spaceclaim software.

For more information on BTAC or their services, please contact Rick Williston, BTAC Project Manager (226-778-0045).
BTAC

OCE Discovery 2017

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Big thanks to Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery Conference for inviting the Blue Sky Solar Racing team and our 8th generation solar-powered vehicle, Horizon, to exhibit at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre earlier this week! The event was a great opportunity to talk to industry leaders, creators, and fellow students about what we do. We also had an excellent time learning more about other innovative projects, cutting-edge technology, and research in fields like medicine, cleantech, and digital media.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by throughout the two day event! If you have any other questions or want to follow our progress, you can find updates on flickr and facebook, along with pictures from the conference.
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Solar Canada Conference 2016

This past week Blue Sky Solar attended the Solar Canada Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre with our car Horizon. We really enjoyed interacting with industry leaders and learning about innovative solar technologies. Thank you to the event organizers for giving us the opportunity to attend the conference!

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Blue Sky Solar 20th Anniversary Celebration

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On November 18th, Blue Sky Solar Racing celebrated our 20th anniversary at the MaRS Discovery District. The event was a great celebration of 20 years of the innovation and excellence in solar racing that our undergraduate team strives for. Four generations of cars were showcased at the event: Horizon (our 8th generation car that competed and placed 3rd this summer at the American Solar Car Challenge), Cerulean, Azure and B-7.  We would like to thank MaRS for hosting our event, Nanoleaf for providing Aurora panels, our generous sponsors for helping us realize our vision, and the Engineering Society and MBNA, whose contributions made the event possible. Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to all the alumni and guest speakers that attended, including Thomas Coyle, the Vice-Dean of Engineering, for the faculty’s unwavering support of undergraduate projects like these.

Solar energy in action: Barrick Gold’s solar farm

If the 19th century is the century of coal and the 20th century that of nuclear, then the 21st century is that of solar. Many large corporations, including Tesla, Apple, and Google, have recently shown a keen interest in investing in the energy solution of the future. Keeping with this trend and recognizing the need for sustainable energy alternatives is Barrick Gold’s solar farm in northern Nevada.

The Barrick Solar Farm, located 15 miles east of Reno, began commercial operations in 2008. The eight-acre installation provides power to the plant’s internal loads, namely the generator oil recirculation and heating pumps, and to the auxiliary plant services such as heating, ventilation systems, and lighting. Construction for the project – from project approval to system commissioning and start up and completion – took approximately 9 months.

Barrick's solar farm in north Nevada

Barrick’s solar farm in north Nevada. The 1.0-megawatt solar photovoltaic system was incorporated into the existing 115-megawatt gas-fired Western 102 power plant.

Northern Nevada’s focus on geothermal power development has allowed the Barrick solar photovoltaic project to grow and become the largest solar project in the area. The project not only cuts energy costs but minimizes operation costs by making use of pre-existing electric transmission lines that serve the gas-fired plant next door.

The Barrick solar project has proven that sustainability and financial viability can coexist in the energy production sector. On behalf of Blue Sky Solar Racing, we would like to once again extend our sincerest gratitude to Barrick Gold for supporting our team and helping us reinvent the future of sustainability.