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See Horizon on August 7th

With only 80 days until the race, we are putting the final touches on the new car, named Horizon.

The car is nearly complete! The focus for the team is now on mechanical installation. Both the fabrication and mechanical teams are working together to install the rear suspension and front suspension, which will be followed by rack and pinion installation shortly after. The electrical team has completed the battery box, and the array team is ready for array installation. Our car was wrapped in the newly designed wrap last Wednesday.

As we draw close to the end of the two year project cycle, the advancement team is making final preparations for the unveiling of Horizon next Friday August 7th at the Bahen Centre of Information Technology.

Only less than 80 days until the race, all the members are excited to show everyone  our two years of hard work.

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B-7 at Phoenix Contact’s Energy Event 2015

On May 28th, the team headed to Milton to bring B-7 to one of our sponsors, Phoenix Contact. We were generously invited to take part and present in Phoenix Contact's Energy Event 2015.

For this cycle, Phoenix Contact kindly sponsored us with PCB connectors and connecting wires between different power lines. We used Phoenix Contact connectors in B-7 and found that they were able to maintain functionality and robustness even when exposed to extreme heat and vibration during the 3,000km race in Australia.. These connectors were also manufactured with high quality shielding which resulted in clean, low-noise signals in our testing phase.

At the event, we were also kindly provided with the opportunity to deliver a presentation about the team . Our managing director, Zhe Gong, talked about some of the technical and developmental challenges the team faces throughout the project cycle as well as the success of B-7 at the 2013 World Solar Challenge.

We also had the chance to take out B-7 on a beautiful sunny day and answered some questions about the aerodynamic shape, choice of materials, the design and fabrication processes, and the race.

On behalf of everyone on the Blue Sky Solar Racing team, we’d like to thank Phoenix Contact for their continued support and for having us at the 2015 Energy Event!

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Visit to Crosslink

On May 22nd, three members of the team brought B-7 to our generous sponsors at Crosslink Technology Inc. to thank them for their continued support and generous sponsorship.

Crosslink has been supporting us since 2011 and for this cycle they generously supplied us with epoxy which is crucial to the process of creating our aerobody mold. The epoxy resin is mixed with hardener and then injected into the layers of fiberglass to make a nice and robust mold. This mold is then used to perform the carbon fiber layup which becomes the final part of the car. This whole process would not have been possible without the help of Crosslink !

We were also kindly given a tour of the lab area and the employees explained to us the different departments of Crosslink Technology Inc.. We were introduced to different materials produced by the company. One particularly interesting one was a product called Pecker Patch, which borrows its name from its original use when it was used to patch holes left by woodpeckers. We were also given some cool Pecker Patch merchandise. Thank you Crosslink!

Amir Kharazmi, Advancement Team Member

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Thank You 3M Canada

We would like to take a moment to thank 3M Canada for their continued support over the years. 3M’s generous donations have made the fabrication of our 8th generation solar vehicle possible.

In this stage of fabrication, we use epoxy adhesives to stick together different parts of the car. We use 3M Gray Epoxy Adhesive to attach the chassis to the main body of the car. Then 3M Translucent Epoxy Adhesive is used to attach the smaller parts, such as headlights, to the body of the car.

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This stage of the process also requires a significant amount of sanding . To help us with sanding, 3M has provided us with automotive industry quality sandpaper that enables us to get a smooth surface finish. We also need protection from all the dust when sanding and 3M provides us with 8210Plus Respirators . Safety comes first!

The fabrication phase can often be long but it is this stage in the production of the car when you really bond with the car and hence it is one of the most rewarding stages.

On behalf of everyone here on the Blue Sky Solar Racing team, we would like to thank 3M one more time for making fabrication possible!

Amir Kharazmi, Advancement Team Member
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Thank You Henkel Canada

In the midst of fabrication of our 8th generation solar vehicle, we would like to take a moment to thank Henkel Canada for their generous donation of Loctite and Frekote products.

After our aerobody plugs are machined, we need to treat the porous MDF to achieve the surface necessary to pull a vacuum. Once the surface is prepared, we perform a vacuum infusion layup on the plug which results in a fiberglass mold.

A number of Henkel products are used throughout this process. After the surface has been prepared, the Frekote B-15 Sealer is first applied to the top aerobody plug to fill any scratches and surface imperfections. We then apply a release agent, specifically Frekote WOLO-HL which was recommended to us for fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) composites. And last we used Frekote PMC Mold Release Cleaner to clean the surface of the resulting mold.

The fabrication phase of the solar vehicle project often includes long hours of labour work but is nonetheless a rewarding experience as team members gain valuable hands-on experience with composites. Our team generally runs on shifts including a mix of team leads and new recruits to give as many members as possible an opportunity to learn about the various activities involved in fabrication.

Thank you once again to Henkel Canada for your support!

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New Year, New Team Updates!

Drumroll… We have officially begun fabrication!

As of today, we are officially one week into fabrication! Over the past week, we were fortunate to be able to use the work space provided by Niagara Pattern to assemble the plug layout for our top aerobody. Our plug pattern consists of stacked MDF sheets supported by a plywood base, both were generously donated by Weston Premium Woods.

During this process, we were reminded again what a tremendously difficult task it is to complete a solar vehicle as we encountered numerous problems with material acquisition, faulty tolerances and logistics. We truly developed an appreciation for the manufacturing limitations on design as well as the power of meticulous planning.

And now let’s end with this photo to lighten up the mood.

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