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Welcome to NUsolar

We're building the future of sustainability engineering and leadership at Northwestern University

The Northwestern University Solar Car Team is a student organization that designs, builds, and races solar powered vehicles. Our mission is to provide opportunities for Northwestern Students to gain hands on experience with challenging engineering problems related to energy efficient design, advanced composite materials manufacturing, high power electrical systems, and embedded microprocessing.

Engineering

Design,  Build,  Test. NUsolar provides hands-on project management, design, and manufacturing experience in addition to providing an outlet for students to demonstrate their skills. Our members create CAD models of their designs and then get to build them using advanced manufacturing methods in our world-class prototyping shop.

Leadership

NUsolar is a completely student-run organization, so team members can take on a wide spectrum of responsibilities in including engineering, manufacturing, operations, marketing and finance. Students learn how to create project plans, communicate professionally with corporations, and teach each other what it takes to make a solar car.

Sustainability

We're the solar car team-- sustainability is our middle name. We frequently do outreach events with our solar car in the Greater Chicago area. Our goal is to get the public excited about how Northwestern students are making advances in alternative energy transportation. If you have questions about scheduling a visit, head over to Education page.

Our Car

Our current car is Solar Car 6, codename SC6.

SC6 is made up of a composite monocoque chassis and airfoil shaped body, with a steel roll cage.  The structural parts of the body are comprised of carbon fiber/Nomex sandwich glued together with high strength epoxy. Several steel and aluminum plates reinforce the steering and suspension system, which bears high amounts of stress.

Just as our other past cars, SC6 is a fully functional electric vehicle which can be legally driven on any road, although we don’t plan on taking it out on the highway just yet. It is equipped with headlights, turn signals, and a rear-view camera system for driving in reverse.

The Race

Every year, 30 teams from around the Americas gather in Austin, TX to race in the American Solar Challenge and Formula Sun Grand Prix.

The American Solar Challenge is a cross-country race in which caravans of solar cars travel halfway across the U.S., stopping at different checkpoints along the way. This year (2017), NUsolar has the opportunity to go to the Formula Sun Grand Prix, which is being held at the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 track. A map of the circuit (with the speed limits for Formula 1 cars) is below.

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