The Solar Electric Boat Project
Solar Splash is sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Solar Splash is considered the World Championship, Solar Electric Boat Regatta. Students from around the world design and build solar electric boats to compete in this event. For the purpose of this competition, the boat has to be powered by direct and stored solar energy. Photovoltaic conversion of solar energy is limited to 480 watts measured at one sun condition. System voltage cannot exceed 53 VDC or AC RMS, and the source voltage cannot exceed 36 VDC from 1.0 kilowatt hour batteries. The boat has to fit into a box dimension of 6 meters in length, 2.4 meters in beam, and 1.5 meters in freeboard.
The competition lasts for four days, in which the solar electric craft will compete in a variety of point-earning events. These events are: a sprint race, an endurance race, a slalom race, a technical report, and a visual information display. Before competing the boat has to pass rigid safety inspections and qualify in maneuverability and buoyancy tests.
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