Aurora-II's ready to hit the road running

Array Team Completes Final Array Design
Changes in the shape and materials of the outer shell altered the design of the solar array. Finally, with the outer shell complete, the Array Team has completed the final array design.

After extensive testing of the leading manufacturers products, the Array Team selected and purchased solar cells based on cost and efficiency. These factors were specified by race rules and our budget.

We also developed a solar cell encapsulation scheme, which is now in the final stages of design. The encapsulation insulates the solar cells from one another and from outside elements. The encapsulation is a very important aspect of the overall design because it must also provide a good optical interface and be lightweight. The team is consulting with industry experts to determine materials and manufacturing procedures. 3M, DuPont, and E. Jordan Brookes, Inc., are donating most of our materials.

The design for the solar array dictates that the cells must be cut to a smaller size. The smaller-size cells will maximize the use of allowed surface area for the array and provide a higher voltage(to account for the power loss associated with the higher-than-ambient temperatures of the solar cells in the array). The smaller cells will also meet the voltage needs for our chosen Maximum Peak Power Trackers.

Steve White