(bouncy electronic music)
– 我是Alexander Martin
– My name’s Alexander Martin.
– 我是Dan Li
– My name is Dan Li.
– 我是Alex Silver
– I’m Alex Silver.
– My name is Kerui.
– And I am a senior here at Northwestern University.
I’m a dual degree student studying mechanical engineering
and violin performance in the music school.
– 我是大四生 即将毕业
– I am a senior, ready to graduate,
studying mechanical engineering.
– 我是大四生 专业是
– I am a senior, majoring in
material science and engineering.
– I’m majoring in computer science.
– And, I’m the current project manager
of the Northwestern Solar Car Team.
– I am the chief mechanical engineer on the team.
– As a senior mechanical member,
I manage individual projects as they come up.
– And, I’m the publicity manager for the Solar Car Team.
– So, the Solar Car Team was started by a group of students
in 1997 here at Northwestern University,
like, probably five students and three advisors,
who got together and wanted to participate
in the solar car racing.
Solar car racing has been around since the mid-70s.
– The Solar Car Team primarily competes in an annual race.
It is a annual track race,
the Formula Sun Grand Prix.
Basically, the premise of the race is that,
at the beginning, you start off with a full battery pack,
that is fully charged, but then once the race begins,
for the next three days,
or five days for the cross-country race,
all your energy must come from the sun,
and the solar array must be attached to your car.
So, basically, they impound your batteries,
they make sure you’re not charging them through other means,
but it’s essentially,
using every last drop of energy you have
to make a car go as far as you can.
So, there’s the two different races.
The track race, it drives by itself,
there’s obviously other teams driving the circuit
at the same time, so that limits the pace,
but mostly you just set your speed
based on what’s most efficient.
And then, over the road, the cross-country race,
we have a whole convoy, lead car and a chase car,
and at that point, I think, it’s still the solar car that sets the speed,
’cause we want them to get their max efficiency.
– Everybody on the team gets to drive the car.
We don’t find the lightest person.
So, in the regulations, it has that,
if you wish to drive the car,
if you are under 80 kilograms, or 176 lbs,
basically, you get a bag of lead shot,
where they add to you to ballast you to the same weight,
so, everybody gets to drive the car,
unless you’re, I mean, even if,
I weigh more than that, so.
I designed it, I’m saying I’m gonna drive it. (laughs)
– Academically, there’s no sort of course
where I would be learning the variety of
skills that I’ve learned through this.
– In classes, you primarily have a lot of theory,
in terms of engineering and applied engineering,
but the Solar Car Team really allows you
to take what you’ve learned in the classroom
and actually be able to physically apply it,
and see what works, what doesn’t work,
because it’s very different
when you’re talking about ideals on the blackboard
versus when you’re actually here
and you try to fit two assemblies together,
and you realize there’s some tolerance mismatch,
or some parts that don’t fit together, and they should,
and it just gives you a better sense and perspective
of what the difficulties of a project
and the difficulties of engineering are.
– The hands-on experience is the number one thing you get.
Our mission statement, of NU Solar,
is that we are trying to build better engineers,
we just happen to do it by building a solar car.
– I guess NU Solar is run a little bit like a startup,
where we have this business.
I had to take care of funding for our team,
which would be sponsorship,
we also have company relations,
we talk to, say Boeing and stuff,
and then ask for any kind of donations,
and make sure we good company relations with them.
– So, the build cycle for the car usually is around,
most universities come out with a new car every two years,
and they’re always trying to approach
the peaks of aerodynamic efficiency,
electrical efficiency in terms of the battery choice,
battery selection, and also pay special attention
to your solar cells, as well.
– 这是SC6 是我们的第六代汽车
– This is SC6, this is our 6th Solar Car.
It’s what’s called a monocoque car,
which means it doesn’t have an internal frame.
All the main loads of the car are supported
by these two carbon-fiber ribs, and then this shell,
which is also made of carbon fiber,
supports the car this way, and keeps it from bending.
Inside here, about 400 individual lithium-ion battery cells.
Each one’s at about 3.9 volts, and we package them
into modules of 13 cells each,
to get the appropriate amount of current.
What you just saw was the bottom half,
这是上面那一半 简言之 顶壳
and this is the top half, or the top shell, for short.
These are all of our solar cells which allow us
to recharge the batteries while we’re driving,
using the power from the sun.
They are monocrystalline silicon, which means that
each one of these blue squares is a single crystal,
with no imperfections.
So, they’re incredibly difficult to make.
We don’t make them, we buy them,
but they’re also really easily damaged,
so if you dent a cell, it basically damages the entire cell,
and so it won’t produce as much energy,
which is why you have to be
incredibly careful with some of these.
This knob, if the car is on fire,
and you need to turn off the car, you hit this knob.
It won’t stop the fire,
but it will disconnect the batteries,
so hopefully not exacerbating the situation.
(high-energy electronic music)
What employers really value is the fact that you have done
something more than the bare minimum, in a sense,
you’ve done more than achieving for your degree,
which is not an easy feat,
but, you have to stand out amongst your peers,
and then, what they really care about,
is that it is a true engineering extracurricular.
You have to optimize structures,
you have to really care about all the load cases,
and the lifespan of your vehicle,
what it will endure during its service life,
and these are all very real engineering problems
that you do for anywhere.
(high-energy electronic music)
– If you enjoyed this video,
and want to learn more about student organizations at top colleges,
同志们 我没法往前了 这有个摄像机
Guys, I can’t go forward, there’s a camera there.