Catching Up on Renatus' Progress

Over the past year and a half, significant progress has been made on various parts of Renatus. This includes redesigning key systems in the car, manufacturing of body joints and molds, and encapsulation of more solar cells.

The suspension for Renatus has been redesigned, due to critical issues with the old design. The previous version was run through a simulation to verify its failure before beginning the redesign. The new design is nearly complete and undergoing validation. Issues remaining with the new design are tire scrubbing and steering input when the suspension is activated, which are in the process of being resolved.

Along with the suspension, the electrical systems for Renatus were redesigned. To accommodate our three Raspberry Pi modules, we are designing and building new boards. The previously designed battery management system has been replaced with an Orion BMS, due to its reliability. We have designed and manufactured the main battery box, and are currently designing the power distribution system.

On the manufacturing side, we have made significant progress on various portions of the car. The wheel fairings for Renatus, meant to make the car more aerodynamic, are now complete. The upper and lower body joints, necessary to secure the two large pieces together, have been designed and manufactured. The joints are made from several layers of reinforced carbon fiber, which were then molded into the proper shape to fit snugly along the seam between the upper and lower body. The roll cage for Renatus was sent out to be welded together professionally. Once it was sent back, we drilled holes in the mounting points so that we can secure it properly to the chassis. The male windshield mold has been set and sanded down. We used it to create the female mold, which has been poured and cured. We are applying final patches to the female mold to seal any cracks. Once the female mold is finished, both will be sent to an outside group to be used in manufacturing the windshield.

Along with these major updates, smaller tasks, such as solar cell encapsulation and the creation of a mock chassis, have seen significant progress. 23 solar cell modules have been made so far, leaving 13 more to complete. The mock chassis is being constructed so that we can practice emergency exit procedures from the car. We are currently molding PVC to recreate our roll cage for the mock chassis, so we can more accurately represent the egress conditions.

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Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has devoted tremendous amounts of their time and effort to the club, new members and visiting alumni alike. You all have been incredibly helpful in the past year and a half and we look forward to your continued support of the club.

Purdue Solar Racing, 465 Northwestern Ave. West Lafayette, IN 47907