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Rutgers Solar Car Team 2018-2019

Rutgers Solar Car Team 2018-2019 Image
Raised toward our $2,500 Goal
10 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 21, at 11:59 PM EST
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Rutgers Solar Car Team 2018-2019

The Rutgers Solar Car Team


The Rutgers Solar Car Team is a student led design team tasked to finance, build, and race a solar-electric vehicle for racetrack and cross-country competitions. Team members are in charge of sourcing and building from scratch composite, electrical, and mechanical systems for a street-legal car driven by fellow students 1500+ miles at highway speeds over the course of a few days. In addition to the typical challenges, this journey is completed entirely on the vehicle's solar power! Our team has been fundraising, researching, and contributing towards the construction of Rutgers' first ever entry into the Formula Sun Grand Prix for over two years.

  Building Our First Car

 Since 2016, the team has been modeling components in CAD, attending race events in Texas and Nebraska, and buying small amounts of steel tubing, solar cells, and batteries whenever funds became available. Due in part to some exciting developments and discussions, we believe this year our team can compete in the July 2019 Formula Sun Grand Prix. This ambitious goal will require significant design and engineering work on our end and generous donations on yours. The financial resources you contribute will allow us to purchase large-ticket items such as our brushless DC hub motors, tires, and the remaining solar cells and batteries. You can follow our progress at or continue reading below to learn more about solar racing competitions. 




Solar Car Competitions



  • Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) 
    • Solar Car Teams from colleges around the world come to race their cars in this annual weeklong competition. Each solar car must pass all of the regulations tested during the scrutineering period before being able to compete. Once on track, each team is challenged to finish as many laps as possible throughout the course of a day. The Formula Sun Grand Prix is a stepping stone for the long-distance American Solar Challenge. 
  • American Solar Challenge (ASC)
    • The American Solar Challenge is a biennial race that spans 8-12 days. Unlike the FSGP, this competition tests focuses exclusively on long-distance endurance driving. The weather must be closely watched to account for fluctuations in solar irradiance, all rules of the road must be closely followed throughout the journey on rural and urban roads. The road conditions should be monitored, and the team must work closely together to overcome all of the challenges over the course of nine days. 
  • Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
    • The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the premier international solar racing event. Established over 31 years ago, the biennial race follows the Australian Outback's Stuart Highway from Darwin to Adelaide; a distance of over 1800 miles through regions consistently over 95°F in the day!


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Battery Cells

Our lithium-ion cells are small but mighty! To race in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and future road races, we'll need to pack over 400 of these cells to power the car all day.


Solar Cells

Crafted from a single crystal of silicon, our solar cells convert sunlight into electrical energy. The cells need to be wired, wrapped, and waterproofed to withstand weather.


Chassis Tubing

This steel tubing acts as a structural skeleton for the shaping of the car. The welded frame holds together the upper and lower fiberglass body and provides mounting points for suspension, braking and electrical systems.



These won't be your typical bicycle wheels. The four tires tread a fine line between width and strength to provide the least possible rolling resistance. Don't forget a few flats along the way!


Aluminum Rims

Due to the unique constraints of solar racing, we will need to machine rims for our tire mount to, thus quite literally forcing Rutgers students to "reinvent the wheel".



Weighing a mere 11kg, the brushless DC motor is the final step in converting sunlight into kinetic energy. Having the perfect motor is essential for minimizing power loss, so we have selected a motor with a 95% delivery efficiency and power regenerative braking.