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Battle of the cakes 2016

It is that time of year again: time for battle of the cakes. On our team we have a tradition that every year during a team potluck there is a cake baking competition between the freshmen/new members and the upperclassmen. The rules are simple as a team bake a cake based on our solar car and then a panel of third party judges will decide the winner based on taste and appearance. Last year the freshmen won in a land slide, as you can see below. So who won this year? The judges have their opinions, but before we tell you we want to know your opinion. Check out the two cakes (in no particular order), and then vote below.

Cake 1

Cake 1

Cake 2

Cake 2

2015-cakes.

Last year’s cake entries. The freshman cake is back.

All photos were taken by the author

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Spring Semester and Tilted Solar Cells

This week is the first week of classes for the spring semester. This is rather late for a college to be starting classes, but as I mentioned in our last blog MIT has the Individual Activities Period (IAP) for most of January. This is the fun week of figuring out classes, and bugging your Adviser every other day. I have managed to submit two add/drop forms by the second day of the semester. Let’s hope this trend doesn’t continue. So what does a nuclear Engineering student take? This semester I am taking thermal-fluids engineering, programming in MATLAB, Applied Nuclear Physics, and Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics.

Besides classes I have also been working on an interesting project for the solar car. Right now I am working on modeling the power output from possible array designs for our next car. I am working with the aerodynamics team to give them feedback so we can balance the aerodynamics with solar array output. In my research for this I came across this programming library called PVLIB which was developed by the PV Performance Modeling Collaborative at Sandia National Labs. This library is making my life so much easier by predicting the solar irradiance, calculating the “effective irradiance” for a single cell, and just doing all the complex (real numbers only) math I didn’t want to code. Now just to model a few hundred solar cells that move!

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Following us during Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Tomorrow the team will be leaving for Australia! Here’s how to follow us during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. During the actual challenge (Oct 18-25) we will be blogging daily and posting pictures to Instagram on the MITstudents account. During the challenge though we will be in the middle of the outback with very little internet connection. So our schedule may be odd, but don’t fret we will find a way to post content. Also the organizers will be putting up quite a bit of content so check them out at worldsolarchallenge.org.
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge PRIMARY LOGO

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Support MIT SEVT in the LITECAR Challenge

Check out our proposal to scale up the solar race car and help us out by voting!

The goal of the LITECAR challenge is to identify conceptual solutions that are beyond the state-of-the-art in the area of (but not limiting to) advanced materials, structural design, advanced manufacturing, and energy absorbing mechanisms to enable future lightweight and safe vehicles. LITECAR is not looking for incremental improvements but pioneering solutions to tackle this problem.

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Check us out in the Google Science Fair Video

The Google Science Fair is an annual online science competition sponsored by Google, Lego, Virgin Galactic, National Geographic and Scientific America. The competition is open to 13-18 year old students around the world who hypothesis, perform experiments and present their results. As engineers and scientists who do this regularly, the MIT solar car team was more than happy to help encourage and inspire students to explore STEM through the creation of this promotional video.

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The Solar Car will be out and about in the Boston area this spring!

Keep an eye out for the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team in the next few months!

We’ll be at several events, including:

MIT xFair, February 2nd

Check out their website here: http://xfair.mit.edu/

Wellesley STEM Expo, March 28th

See here for more information: https://www.wellesleyeducationfoundation.org/events/science-technology-expo

WellesleyExpo

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Check us out in the MIT Alumni Association’s Slice of MIT blog!

http://slice.mit.edu/2014/09/03/valkyrie/

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Activities Midway

We brought Valkyrie to the MIT Activities Midway, the primary recruiting and publicity event for clubs at MIT. We had many interested freshmen sign up and are looking forward to having new members!

There will be more introductory meetings and publicity events in the upcoming weeks. If you get a chance, stop by our open house event at the Edgerton Center this Saturday at 3pm.

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American Solar Challenge Blues

On Friday night, July 11th, the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team drove down to Austin, TX, to begin the scrutineering process for the up-and-coming American Solar Challenge. After passing all of the scrutineering events, we proceeded to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP), the track race that is the final qualifier for the American Solar Challenge. On the last day of FSGP, our car ran into difficulty and we unfortunately were not able to qualify for the American Solar Challenge.

We also would like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors for their continued support and mentorship. Without them, none of what we do would be possible.

With this race now behind us the team looks eagerly forward to FSGP 2015 – to improve upon the designs of this car and the cars that the MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team has built before. We are also switching from the canonical 3-wheeled solar car design to a 4-wheeled design, which will bring challenges and opportunities for our design team.

Post written by Dillon McConnon

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Solar Car Track Testing

On Tuesday, April 22nd, MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Team trooped over to Seekonk Speedway, MA to do track testing. It was a lot of fun, and the weather was nice.

The day started at 5 AM, as we had to make some last minute fixes on the car—namely, installing seatbelts and such. Then, we drove over to the track. The parking lot was huge! The track was a 1/3 mile banked oval and very smooth. We brought snacks.

Track testing was very informative. We found a lot of bugs in the car, which we are working to mend currently. Wish us luck!

Post written by Priya Kikani.

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