Eos Aero Team Design Review

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Toni Carlstrom

Today Aero team had a design review for the doors, dynamic wheel fairings, removable solar array, battery ducts, and driver ducts for our next vehicle, Eos. Many of the Aerodynamics team parts and features will be laid-up with the carbon fiber body.

For Eos, we are using 18650B battery cells like the ones used in most common laptops. Battery cell performance goes down if the temperature gets too hot. Heat can even make the batteries unsafe to charge and discharge. Our solar vehicle will have more than 1200 batteries compared to 3 to 9 in conventional laptops so it is very important to ensure that they do not overheat. To to this, there will be three ducts on the front of the vehicle to draw in air as the vehicle moves. This will allow the batteries to be passively ventilated. Aero team uses NACA style ducts to minimize the drag caused by the inlets. The ducts are going to be laid-up with the carbon fiber body of the vehicle.

Team members Michael Ellis and Nick Sloan present on their models and analysis for battery ventilation ducts.

Team member Erik Johnson takes to the blackboard to explain his dynamic fairing concept.

Dynamic fairings are another aerodynamics team system. They are simply doors that open when the wheels of the vehicle turn. They allow the front area of the car to be thinner because the body of the car does not have to contain the wheels when they are turned at all angles. This decreases aerodynamic drag but increases the complexity of the design. Erik has a concept that will have the doors opening in conjunction with the motion of the steering rack so that the wheels will never rub on the doors.