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Primavera II

2015

In a world that brightly acclaims the use of renewable energies, EAFIT University and EPM respond to the call with the Primavera 2 project, aiming to compete for the second time in the World Solar Challenge, with a single-person solar vehicle that promotes national research on renewable technologies. This project involved both engineering and logistical challenges that ultimately managed to position Primavera 2 among the top 10 solar vehicles in the world.

Project Description

Every two years, the “World Solar Challenge” solar vehicle competition takes place in Australia. A 3022km race, from Darwin to Adelaide; with the aim of promoting the development of renewable energy technologies around the world. Called attended by some of the best universities in the world since 1987. The Primavera project gets its name from being created in Medellin, the city of eternal spring and initially comes to life from the proposal of Jorge Andres Barrera, a graduate and master from MIT, who used to run in this competition with the Mantarraya team; to show that Colombia has the human potential to be world class in its level of engineering.

In 2014, the development of Primavera II commenced with a dedicated team of 30 individuals, comprising enthusiastic undergraduate students alongside experienced master’s and doctoral students. The team was divided into six subsystems: mechanics, Aerodynamics, bodywork, electronics, logistics, and strategy. Their collective challenge was to integrate the various mechanical components required for a competition vehicle, harness the power of electric-solar technology, optimize aerodynamics akin to an airplane, and devise a winning strategy worthy of Formula 1.

Details

Start date:02/15/14
Duration:2 Year
Difficulty:5/5

My Role

  • Battery design.
  • Logistics management.

The Opportunity

The Primavera 2 project presented a remarkable opportunity to not only participate in the World Solar Challenge but also contribute to national research on renewable technologies. It was a chance for EAFIT University and EPM to showcase their dedication to sustainable engineering and demonstrate Colombia’s potential in the field. By pushing the boundaries of solar-powered transportation, Primavera 2 aimed to inspire innovation, raise awareness about renewable energies, and motivate further advancements in the industry.

The Challenge

Developing a competitive solar vehicle for the World Solar Challenge came with its fair share of challenges. The Primavera 2 team had to navigate engineering complexities, tackle logistical hurdles, and meet stringent competition requirements. They needed to design a vehicle that was not only energy-efficient but also lightweight, aerodynamic, and capable of enduring the grueling race conditions. Balancing performance, reliability, and efficiency within the constraints of the competition was a significant challenge that demanded innovative solutions.

My Roll

1. Designing the Battery Pack:

As the designer of the battery pack, I had the crucial responsibility of optimizing the energy storage and delivery system for the solar vehicle. Drawing upon my expertise and technical knowledge, I worked diligently to ensure maximum efficiency during the race. By fine-tuning the battery pack’s design, I contributed to enhancing the overall performance and endurance of Primavera 2. This involved carefully considering factors such as energy density, charging capabilities, and system safety.

2. Managing Team Logistics and Vehicle Transport:

In addition to my technical role, I took on the challenge of managing the logistics of the Primavera 2 team and coordinating the transport of the vehicle to Australia. This task presented unique challenges, especially when dealing with customs regulations and securing the necessary insurance coverage. Transporting an experimental vehicle like Primavera 2 required meticulous planning, coordination, and problem-solving. Our team faced significant hurdles, including the need to raise almost half a million dollars to ensure the vehicle’s insurance coverage. Through determined efforts and resourcefulness, we successfully navigated these obstacles, ensuring the safe and timely transport of Primavera 2 to Australia.

My dual responsibilities in designing the battery pack and managing logistics allowed me to contribute to multiple facets of the Primavera 2 project. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, showcasing not only my technical skills but also my ability to handle complex project management challenges. Our achievements highlight the dedication and teamwork of the entire Primavera 2 team, and the successful outcome serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence.

The Solution

To overcome the challenges, the Primavera 2 team adopted a systematic approach, forming six specialized teams. Each team played a critical role in the project’s success. The mechanics team focused on integrating the various mechanical components, ensuring optimal performance and safety. The aerodynamics team specialized in designing an aerodynamic shell to reduce drag and maximize energy efficiency. The bodywork team contributed to the construction and refinement of the vehicle’s outer structure. The electronics team developed cutting-edge solar and electric systems to power the vehicle. The logistics team managed resources, supply chain, and coordination. Lastly, rigorous testing and integration tests were conducted at each subsystem level to ensure the vehicle’s reliability and performance.

1. Mechanics Team

The mechanics team played a crucial role in integrating the various mechanical components of Primavera 2, ensuring optimal performance and safety. Their expertise encompassed meticulous engineering and fine-tuning of each component, from the propulsion system to the suspension and braking mechanisms, to achieve the desired functionality, reliability, and overall excellence of the vehicle.

2. Aerodynamics Team

The Aerodynamics Team played a crucial role in optimizing the vehicle’s performance by focusing on aerodynamic design principles. They meticulously analyzed airflow patterns and conducted wind tunnel testing to refine the body shape, reduce drag, and improve overall efficiency. Through their expertise, the team ensured that Primavera 2 sliced through the wind effortlessly, maximizing speed and energy efficiency during the World Solar Challenge.

3. Bodywork Team

The Bodywork Team excels in precision mold design and composite manufacturing of Primavera 2. Collaborating closely with the Aerodynamics Team, they transformed optimized curves and contours into a lightweight and aerodynamically efficient outer structure. Using advanced composite materials and precise craftsmanship, they brought the vehicle’s aerodynamic design to life. The collaboration between the Bodywork and Aerodynamics Teams ensured Primavera 2 achieved exceptional aerodynamic performance.

4. Electronics Team

The electronics team was responsible for developing cutting-edge solar and electric systems to power the vehicle. They designed and implemented advanced energy management systems, efficient solar panels, and high-performance batteries. Their expertise in electrical engineering ensured seamless integration of the power systems, maximizing energy conversion and storage for optimal performance during the race.

5. Logistics Team

The logistics team managed the project’s resources, supply chain, and coordination. They meticulously planned and executed the procurement of materials, ensuring timely availability for the development and assembly of Primavera 2. Their role involved coordinating with suppliers, managing inventory, and streamlining logistics to optimize the workflow and meet project timelines.

6. Strategy Team

The strategy team played a vital role in formulating a comprehensive race plan for Primavera 2. They considered various variables such as weather conditions, speed optimization, and energy management to devise an effective strategy. Through extensive research and data analysis, they identified optimal race tactics, including when to deploy additional energy reserves and when to conserve energy. Their strategic decisions played a crucial role in maximizing Primavera 2’s performance and competitiveness throughout the World Solar Challenge.

By dividing the team into specialized subsystems, each focusing on their specific areas of expertise, the Primavera 2 project achieved an integrated and holistic approach to design and development. This collaborative effort allowed the team to leverage individual strengths and create a solar vehicle that excelled in performance, aerodynamics, power management, and logistics.

Technologies Used:

Design & Manufacturing:

Software & Firmware:

Project Result

The dedication, expertise, and collaborative efforts of the Primavera 2 team paid off as they proudly secured their position among the top 10 solar vehicles in the world. Their innovative design, engineering prowess, and strategic approach enabled them to compete at the highest level. The success of Primavera 2 not only showcased Colombia’s talent in renewable technologies but also inspired future generations to pursue sustainable engineering solutions. The project demonstrated that solar-powered vehicles are more than just a cutting-edge technological feat; they represent a paradigm shift in transportation, offering a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional vehicles. Primavera 2 has become a symbol of ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and illuminating a path toward a cleaner and more sustainable future for the automotive industry.


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