Solar Eagle I

Solar Eagle I

In 1990, with no prior experience in solar vehicle technology,
a dedicated team of students, faculty and staff from Cal State L.A.'s School
of Engineering and Technology designed and built the University's first
solar-powered electric car -- the Solar Eagle. The Solar Eagle placed fourth
in the GM Sunrayce USA competing in a field of 32 of the top universities
in the nation. It went on to place in the top ten in the world in the 1990
World Solar Challenge race across Australia. By finishing ahead of all California
entries in both events, the Solar Eagle quickly became known as "California's
#1 Solar Car." The Solar Eagle has been widely displayed at local schools
and community events. In March, 1994, the Solar Eagle was placed on permanent
loan to the Petersen Auto Museum, Los Angeles' premier automotive museum,
and is currently on display.

Vehicle Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 205 kg, 452 lb.
  • Length: 6.030 m
  • Width: 2.017 m
  • Height: 1.100 m
  • Tire Rolling Resistance: 0.0067
  • Drag Coefficient: 0.125
  • Wheelbase: 2.743 m
  • Wheels and tires: Spoked wheels with covers and 20 x 1.75 inch
    Avocet slicks @ 85 psi.
  • Brakes and suspension: Hydraulic disk brakes front, regenerative
    brakes on drive. Non-parallel double A-arm suspension with coil over shocks,
    both front and rear. Rack-and-pinion steering. Chassis: Aluminum T6061 tubing
    frame, carbon/glass/ Nomex sandwich body.
  • Controls: Manual motor speed control
  • Transmission: Direct Kevlar cog belt-driven rear wheel.
  • Batteries: Eagle picher, Silver-Zinc, 80 cells, 3.0 kW-h, 33
    kg wt., 120 Volts.
  • Solar cells: Spectrolab K7, space grade, monocrystalline silicon,
    9040 cells 16.5% efficiency, 800 W peak. 21 Parallel strings. 3 AERL peak
    power trackers.
  • Type of Solar Panel: Fixed panel with 3 flat facet.
  • Panel Voltage: 250 Volts

Major Corporate and Government Agency Sponsors



Southern California Gas Company

Souther Califonia Edison

LA Department of Water and Power (DWP)

Automobile Club of Southern California


Texas Instruments

Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc.

South Coast Air Quality Management District

Spectrolab Inc.

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