Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Week 4: Initial Sketch of Rack Design

The solar team had an extended talk with Professor Furman and Eric Hagstrom regarding certain design choices and parameters today.  One particular area of concern was the total weight of the certain panels across the 18 meter track.  The total combined weight of all the solar panels must not compromise the structural design choices made by the full scale track team.  While using thinner, more flexible solar panels would certainly reduce the weight, flexible solar panels are not nearly as efficient as the desired mono-crystalline panels.  One discussed solution was the possibility of a new design, as seen below, in which the structure in which the solar panels are housed also act as a support to the railways, much like a suspension bridge.  Work was also done on the presentation that will be shown in one week's time.

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