Thank You Henkel Canada

In the midst of fabrication of our 8th generation solar vehicle, we would like to take a moment to thank Henkel Canada for their generous donation of Loctite and Frekote products.

After our aerobody plugs are machined, we need to treat the porous MDF to achieve the surface necessary to pull a vacuum. Once the surface is prepared, we perform a vacuum infusion layup on the plug which results in a fiberglass mold.

A number of Henkel products are used throughout this process. After the surface has been prepared, the Frekote B-15 Sealer is first applied to the top aerobody plug to fill any scratches and surface imperfections. We then apply a release agent, specifically Frekote WOLO-HL which was recommended to us for fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) composites. And last we used Frekote PMC Mold Release Cleaner to clean the surface of the resulting mold.

The fabrication phase of the solar vehicle project often includes long hours of labour work but is nonetheless a rewarding experience as team members gain valuable hands-on experience with composites. Our team generally runs on shifts including a mix of team leads and new recruits to give as many members as possible an opportunity to learn about the various activities involved in fabrication.

Thank you once again to Henkel Canada for your support!

984265_850580738296921_7405891432439813443_n

New Year, New Team Updates!

Drumroll… We have officially begun fabrication!

As of today, we are officially one week into fabrication! Over the past week, we were fortunate to be able to use the work space provided by Niagara Pattern to assemble the plug layout for our top aerobody. Our plug pattern consists of stacked MDF sheets supported by a plywood base, both were generously donated by Weston Premium Woods.

During this process, we were reminded again what a tremendously difficult task it is to complete a solar vehicle as we encountered numerous problems with material acquisition, faulty tolerances and logistics. We truly developed an appreciation for the manufacturing limitations on design as well as the power of meticulous planning.

And now let’s end with this photo to lighten up the mood.

IMG_20150122_124338986

B-7 attends Canada’s largest solar industry event

On December 8 and December 9, B-7 attended our last event of the year – Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) Solar Canada Conference 2014, Canada’s largest solar industry event, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Over the course of the two days, team members had the unique opportunity to network with professionals, stakeholders, and advocates in the solar energy industry. The conference was host to over 200 exhibitors with expertise in energy policy, electricity storage, and various innovative energy solutions. It was a great experience as we learned about a number of existing and emerging solar technologies from across Canada and around the world.

B-7 attracted plenty of interest from conference attendees and other exhibitors who were intent to hear about the project and our success at the 2013 World Solar Challenge. We were thrilled to meet many people who share in our vision for a sustainable future.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see B-7 and talk about the project. We’d also like to say a sincere thank you to CanSIA for allowing us to exhibit our solar vehicle!

The team is very busy as construction of our next generation solar vehicle is set to begin in early 2015. However, we will be attending a number of exciting events throughout 2015 so stay tuned!

15447209203_f43f5eace6_z

B-7 attends Canada's largest solar industry event

On December 8 and December 9, B-7 attended our last event of the year – Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) Solar Canada Conference 2014, Canada’s largest solar industry event, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Over the course of the two days, team members had the unique opportunity to network with professionals, stakeholders, and advocates in the solar energy industry. The conference was host to over 200 exhibitors with expertise in energy policy, electricity storage, and various innovative energy solutions. It was a great experience as we learned about a number of existing and emerging solar technologies from across Canada and around the world.
B-7 attracted plenty of interest from conference attendees and other exhibitors who were intent to hear about the project and our success at the 2013 World Solar Challenge. We were thrilled to meet many people who share in our vision for a sustainable future.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see B-7 and talk about the project. We’d also like to say a sincere thank you to CanSIA for allowing us to exhibit our solar vehicle!
The team is very busy as construction of our next generation solar vehicle is set to begin in early 2015. However, we will be attending a number of exciting events throughout 2015 so stay tuned!
15447209203_f43f5eace6_z

As a new recruit, I…

I thought I would stop boasting the team as a team lead… Now let us hear it from a recruit’s perspective. Introducing Faris from our Advancement Team.

Having missed the introductory session where the team leads discussed the fabrication process and the role of each team – aerodynamics, mechanical, electrical, and advancement – in this process, I was worried that I’d be way behind everyone else. Turns out, I was worried for nothing. After a brief explanation of what each team does, I knew that I wanted to be in the Advancement team, which is responsible for getting sponsorships, planning logistics for the race, and getting more exposure for the team.

The recruits, myself included, had workshops to attend, depending on which subteam they are part of. Even Advancement members attended a number of the technical workshops so that they get a better idea of what the production process entails. They were all quite interesting and fun. I even got to put my hand in warm, expanding foam to make a mold out of it.

For people that are in technical subteams, the hands-on experience gained in the aerodynamics, electrical, and mechanical teams is invaluable. But anyone can participate, and that’s what I liked so much about the way recruitment is designed. The BlueSky team educates its recruits, it isn’t expecting experts.

Probably the best aspect of the team for me is that I have opportunities to learn while also doing something palpably productive with the advancement team, all without having to sacrifice too much (at first, I was afraid it would be too big a commitment and had cold feet). I find the fabrication process very interesting and useful on both a personal and professional level, but would rather observe it from a distance. Being knee deep into fabrication isn’t really my thing, but advancement is. It’s also very important work: without money and materials there simply is no car, no team. And without those, there wouldn’t be such a great way to educate students and exploit their potential or raise awareness to the masses about the inevitability of sustainable energy.