Nanyang Venture Series of Cars

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Nanyang Venture III

 

Overview

Nanyang Venture III (NVIII) is a solar powered car designed specially to take part in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2010. The inaugural Asian edition of the Shell Eco-Marathon race will take place at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 8 to 10 July 2010.

The race aims to challenge teams to design, build and drive the most energy efficient vehicles. NVIII is participating under the Prototype category and is the only solar car entrant from Singapore.

The Challenge

The team must complete six laps (16.8km) in a maximum time of 34 minutes at an average speed of 30km/h.

To achieve this, NVIII’s solar cells must harness solar energy in excess of what it can consume. It is a technical challenge for the team as they work to ensure the car runs completely on renewable energy.

The car’s performance and safety are further enhanced by its lightweight body structure made of high strength aluminium chassis and a carbon composite shell. Given NVIII’s smaller size (compared to its NVII cousin), the area available for solar cells to harness solar energy is more limited. Triple Junction Gallium Arsenide solar cells – one of the best solar cells available in the market were sourced for the car to compensate for lack of space. These cells are made of precious metals and are usually used only on space satellites. Getting these cells customised for the car’s use is the other technical challenge that the team has to overcome.

Car Specifications

Car Body:

  • Nanyang Venture III has a semi-monocoque skin-frame integration
  • Lightweight chassis is made of 6061-T6 aluminium for its high strength and weldability
  • Aerodynamically designed car shell measuring 0.58m wide and 2.8m long
  • Load bearing car shell made of carbon fibre honeycomb composite

Solar Panel:

  • Satellite grade solar panels capable of producing up to 140W of power
  • Advanced triple-junction gallium arsenide photovoltaic cells with an average efficiency of 28.5%
  • Bypass diodes are integrated with individual cells for reverse bias protection
  • Maximum power point tracker regulates and extracts maximum energy from solar panels

Wheels and Brakes:

  • Two front wheels and a rear wheel in a tricycle configuration
  • Rear wheel drives and steers the vehicle
  • Has lower frictional losses compared to the conventional four wheel design
  • Utilises a hydraulic brake system for effective braking

Motor and Batteries:

  • High efficiency brushless DC hub motor is used
  • Motor efficiency maximised at 35km/h - the cruising speed of Nanyang Venture III
  • High energy density lithium polymer batteries are used to store electrical energy
  • Battery management system is incorporated to prevent battery malfunction

Team Members

Mentors

Assoc Professor Ng Heong Wah
Division of Engineering Mechanics
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Visiting Assoc Professor Rohan Senanayake
Division of Engineering Mechanics
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Student members

 
Foong Herng Huei
Aerospace Engineering Year 3
Team leader
Sai Chang Kung
Aerospace Engineering Year 3
Chen Yaoji
Aerospace Engineering Year 3
Liu Shuo
Mechanical Engineering Year 3
Tan Yong Liang
Aerospace Engineering Year 3
Ye Chengliang
Mechanical Engineering Year 3
Qiu Shiyang
Mechanical Engineering Year 3
Hu Meng
Mechanical Engineering Year 3
 
 
Hemesh Ram Nandwani
Mechanical Engineering Year 3
Hon Shah Kiat
Aerospace Engineering Year 3