Chopper del Sol represents several steps forward in solar vehicle technology. Despite an increase in frontal area to accommodate the upright seating position and bring the solar vehicle closer to commercial passenger cars, Chopper del Sol had less aerodynamic drag than our previous vehicle, Eleanor. We were able to aerodynamically optimize the shape of the car with CFD software. Also, for the first time, the wheel fairings were completely integrated with the lower body.
The electrical system for Chopper del Sol was also redesigned. Chopper’s battery pack was constructed with Li-ion batteries that stored 15% more energy. Another performance boosting addition was the 98% efficient maximum point power trackers that were designed in house. The car’s monitor and control electronics have also been reworked, providing increased safety for the driver and greater communication between the solar car and the support vehicles. This data has been useful not only in improving the design of our next car, Valkyrie, but also allows our strategy team to create predictive functions that can give us an edge during the race. These innovations represent significant improvements in performance, reliability, and safety.
Max speed: 65 mph
Cruise speed: 55mph
Weight: ~ 350lbs without driver
Click the images below to learn more about the subsystems of our car!