The Solar Electric Boat Project

Norm @ 2005 Solar 
Splash Although I continue to be involved with both the school's Solar Electric Boat Project, and the "Solar Splash" event; 2005 was the seventh and last year that I served as the primary advisor for the School's entry. I retired from the full time teaching faculty on July 1st, 2006. The project resumed during the 2007/2008 school year with Dr. Karen Yan as the primary advisor. I continue to be involved with the project as the secondary mechanical and technical advisor.

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.

Check out the completion of our most recent boat, the 2013 entry which competed at George Wyth Lake in Cedar Falls, IA.

 You might want to check out our 2012 boat, which also competed in Iowa.

 We built two boats that competed on Lake Fayetteville at Fayetteville, AR. They were the 2009 solar boat, and the 2008 solar boat.

 You should check out our five (5) boats competing at Hoyte Lake in Buffalo, NY. The 2005 solar boat, the 2004 solar boat, the 2003 solar boat, the 2002 solar boat, and the 2001 solar boat.

 We also took a 2000 solar boat to Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans, LA.

 We started competing in Solar Splash with our 1999 solar boat on Lake Michigan at Milwaukee, WI.

Return to Norm Asper's web page.