March 24, 2008

Momentum? Yes!

There is so much going on right now, it is hard to keep up, but I will do my best! For me, there is not better way to explain then through pictures. So without further adieu, here's what is currently happening with Solar Splash!

During spring break, Will worked to smooth out some difficulties in the telemetry. This photo shows an LCD reading the RPM from the mini-electric motor. The RPM sensor will be used in testing in the next two months.

Due to the amount of composite work still needed for the hull, solar panels, and miscellaneous parts, a stand was built to more easily access and store the materials. It has already proved helpful in the fiberglassing you will see below. From top to bottom, the materials are vacuum bagging, peel ply, fiberglass, and breather.

I experimented with using fiberglass and resin epoxy to secure a metal bracket to a foam core. A similar process is in the works for connecting the solar panels to the hull. More on this as it develops.

Mike [right] and I cut wood to be used in the new electrical and battery boxes. We are re-designing these two systems in part to improve the overall interior of the hull. The new system will incorporate a modular design which will better fit the given area.

An rough idea of where the new modular boxes will go. The two forward planks represent the motor/solar controllers and the lower is the battery box.
Above is the proposed design for the motor controller module. The components include the motor controller, a fuse, and solenoid. There will be a hinged cover over the devices which is hidden in this picture.

[L-R] Riddhi, Andrew M., and Greg work on the dashboard while a bulkhead is vacuum bagged in the boat. The dashboard will be a composite structure with the steering wheel, throttle, and telemetry displays.

Greg and Andrew make some final touches on the dashboard's profile.

This staged photo shows Jen and Fred with the final cut of the dashboard.

Andrew traces and prepares the fiberglassing materials for the dashboard. We will include several layers of fiberglass due to the physical demands of the steering wheel.

The vacuum bagging of another bulkhead into the hull. Only one more to go!

Another shot of the bulkhead.

Great News! The official Solar Splash coffee mugs are here! They are great! We will be sending them out this week. Please email me at to see how you can get one of these!

That is all for this edition, but we will certainly be busy enough for something similar next week!

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