Design and Analysis of a Solar Powered Car, Optimising for Sustainable Mobility

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The escalating global demand for green energy solutions has moved solar-powered vehicles into the spotlight as a promising avenue for reducing carbon emissions and mitigating environmental impact. This thesis investigates sustainable transportation, with a primary focus on the design and analysis of a solar-powered car. The study delves into the complex interrelation of automotive design principles, solar technology integration, and spatial optimization on the car body. The research journey encompasses four primary tasks. Drawing inspiration from leading solar-powered models such as Stella Terra and Lightyear One, the first task of this study builds an innovative design that seamlessly incorporate solar panels into the car's form without compromising aesthetics, aerodynamics, or functionality. To validate the design's efficiency, Solidworks Flow Simulation was employed for CFD analysis to evaluate the efficiency and viability of the car body. Aerodynamic factors are all examined to strike a balance between reduced drag and enhanced solar exposure. The CFD analysis not only validated the design but also informed iterative improvements. The third task delved into the integration of solar panels without compromising aerodynamics. Through meticulous consideration of panel placement and orientation, arrays are feased to strike a harmonious balance between solar energy harvesting and aerodynamic efficiency. The final task leveraged Simulink to model and simulate the solar energy collection and conversion process. The simulation showcased how energy harvested from the solar panels on the car's roof was efficiently converted and stored in the battery packs of the car. Though not modelled in detail, the prototype exibited very low drag and reduced pressure clouds around many vantage points during the simulation, which speaks to an Optimized Solar Car Prototype. The Simulink simulations also revealed how increased panel area on the body of the car proportionally affects the energy generated. Beyond the technical aspects, this thesis also raises awareness and interest in sustainable transportation solutions. The integration of solar power into everyday vehicles could inspire discussions on cleaner energy sources and influence public perceptions of eco-friendly mobility. Environmentally clean, socially equitable, affordable, economically viable, efficient and safe mobility is only possible through cooperation among the govemment as well as businesses and individuals.

Design and analysis of a solar powered car, Sustainable Mobility, Solar Car, Green Energy, CFD Analysis