LONGHORN RACING SOLAR
Longhorn Racing Solar
Longhorn Racing Solar at The University of Texas at Austin is a student-powered engineering team that designs, builds, and races Solar Vehicles. LHR Solar provides students an exciting environment to gain real-world experience and apply the skills they’ve picked up in the classroom and on their own. Through constant dedication, persistent problem solving, and total determination, We Can Change The World.
While our team is mainly composed of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, we invite students of all majors to join and take part of bringing our dream to reality. It is impossible to operate a successful team (of any kind) when everyone thinks the same way – only through diverse opinions and healthy debate can a team reach its maximum potential and design the best car.
Our team competes in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and American Solar Challenge against Solar Car teams from around the World. Our current goal is to race in the 2022 Formula Sun Grand Prix with the cross-country American Solar Challenge to come later.
Our most recent car, Lone Star, was completed in Spring 2022 within a two year build-cycle. Making improvements and adjustments based on the performance of our previous car, TexSun, Lone Star went on to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) at Topeka, Kansas in Summer 2022.
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Our previous car, TexSun, was completed in the Spring of 2013 to compete in the Formula Sun Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas the following Summer. With further modifications every year, TexSun has been racing ever since.
The solar panel arrays are located on its detachable wing that comprises the largest portion of the car. The array is made up of 3 smaller sub-arrays of silicon monocrystalline cells. It includes two sub-arrays at the front end of the vehicle and a single sub-array at the rear of the vehicle. With 390 solar cells rated efficiency of 22.5% across the three sub-arrays, TexSun’s total array area comes to 5.98 square meters.
In addition to the solar cell arrays, a major part of the vehicle is the battery pack and the required battery protection system (BPS) designed to shield the major electrical components from damage. The batteries used in TexSun are lithium ion phosphate batteries that have a capacity of 2.5 Ah and a nominal voltage of 3.3 V. The battery pack for TexSun was designed with 36 modules in series with each module including 14 battery cells.
In total, the battery system weighs approximately 150 lbs, bringing TexSun to a total curb weight of 650 lbs, when adding the tempered aluminum, space frame chassis, and suspension systems, aerodynamic, carbon fiber shell and solar array.