The University Of Michigan (M-U) will be entering the 2013 World Solar Challenge in Australia, with their odd looking solar panel covered vehicle. The reason for the odd looks, has solely to do with aerodynamics and creating the least amount of drag possible.
First off, the drivers butt bucket (LOL, say it again- butt bucket) is located between the front and rear wheel on the left hand side and the reason for the awkward driver location is trying to keep the number of bumps on the vehicle, which can result in aerodynamic drag. Another advantage of this location is the reduction in the problem of shading the solar panels. Two birds, one stone.
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All of the cars electronics and other systems, are located on the other side of the vehicle. That is, opposite the driver and this is to ensure the weight is properly distributed. So far it’s all seeming very clever.
U-M already has five third place finishes, and seven victories in North American Solar challenges under their belt. That being said, we can expect good results maybe even a win from them in this upcoming event. So we say good luck U-M. Go conquer that challenge!
+ Link: GreenCarReports | Photos: Flickr Michigan Engineering/cc