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Our goal is to design and manufacture a solar car capable of competing at the 2014 American Solar Challenge, a 1700+ mile race.

Our goal is to design and manufacture a solar car capable of competing at the 2014 American Solar Challenge, a 1700+ mile race. Read more
99
backers
$6,529
pledged of $25,000 goal

About this project

 The Solar Car Team of the University of Puerto Rico, known as Solar Engineering Research Racing Team (SERRT), is the only solar car team in Puerto Rico, and it is our university's project aimed at solar energy research with a focus on transportation.

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez had not taken part of a solar race since 1995, but on August 2012, twenty-nine students accepted the challenge to restart the project with fresh ideas to the new generation of solar-propelled vehicles developed in the university.

This year, our solar vehicle will take part of the American Solar Challenge. It's main event is an 8 day, 1700+ mile road course traveling through 7 states, from Austin, TX to Minneapolis, MN. Our team will be competing with top engineering universities from the United States and all around the world.

The design of the car has been completed and the team is now in the manufacturing and implementation process. We try to do more with less as our resources are scarce. Most of the materials for the car had already been obtained from donations from local sponsors, but we hope to finish the rest of the project with your help!

This is our current schedule:

May 15th: Complete vehicle and initiate testing 
May 16th-June 26th: Summer testing and fine-tuning 
June 28th: Prepare vehicle for shipping from Puerto Rico to Texas 
July 13th: Compete in the 2014 Formula Sun Grand Prix & American Solar Challenge!

The majority of the funds obtained will be used to finish the car and to prepare the team and vehicle for the competition, which include testing materials, strategy preparation, improving on-board controls, transporting the vehicle from Puerto Rico to Texas and back, expenses during the 8-day race, and much more. 

To read more about the competition, you may access the American Solar Challenge website:

http://americansolarchallenge.org/the-competion/ascfsgp-2014/

Visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Serrt.Uprm

Interviews on local news.

First Bench Test without batteries:

First Bench Test with cruise control and batteries:

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Risks and challenges

Our main challenge is to manufacture a solar vehicle able to compete with universities with much larger budgets. The whole team is working hard to accomplish this goal using lightweight and strong materials but available at a reasonable price. Our mechanical, electrical and advisory team have plenty of experience from previous races and from the field. All problems found so far during the last 2 years of designing and testing have been solved, and have further improved the design of our vehicle, thanks to our excellent team and our perseverance. We strongly believe that we will be able to overcome any difficulties that arise from the rest of the assembly and testing process with your help!

But that's not all. The team must also be ready to overcome any obstacles that may encounter during the race, like storms, strong wind, fires, and any vehicle failure, either mechanical or electrical (or both!). This is why it is very important to thoroughly test the vehicle as soon as possible. The more resources we have, the more prepared we will be to respond to any setbacks during the competition.

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FAQ

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Get a SERRT key ring. Receive updates on the progress of our car.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Get a SERRT key ring and a team t-shirt! Receive updates on the progress of our car.

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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get an authentic solar cell used in one of our projects! Receive a SERRT key ring, team t-shirt and updates on the progress of our car.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get a 1" X 1" piece of the aluminum honeycomb core and carbon fiber composite used in the chassis of our car. Receive updates, photos of the car's progress and previous rewards!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive a 3D model of the car! You will also receive updates and photos of the car's progress, a team t-shirt, key chain, a 1" x 1" piece of aluminium honeycomb and carbon fiber composite used on our chases, plus updates and photo's of the car's progress!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Adopt a team member! Each adoption will help pay for team member expenses, lodging, uniforms and meals.

    Receive a commemorative certificate. The certificate will include the name, a brief biography of the adopted team member, and an acknowledgement. You will also receive all previous rewards signed from your adopted team member!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All previous rewards are included, plus an all-expenses paid tour through our university campus, workshop and nearby tourist spots. Join the team for a weekend and visit were everything was built, assembled! Be our guest!

    Details will be provided specifically to donors.

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Funding period

- (30 days)