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
Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc.
South Coast Air Quality Management District