Solar Eagle III: The Next Generation


They say the third time's a charm, and the old familiar phrase is appropriately invoked when speaking of Cal State L.A.'s solar-powered electric vehicle, the Solar Eagle III. The University's third solar car engineered by a team of students under the guidance of faculty and staff, the Solar Eagle III emerged from the Sunrayce 97 intercollegiate solar car race victorious. Not only did Cal State L.A. cross the finish line first and take the national championship title, the team also set a new Sunrayce speed record. For complete details on the Solar Eagle III's rise to national champions, visit the page, Sunrayce 97 Champs.

The flaming yellow Solar Eagle III is part of a rich history of solar vehicle excellence at Cal State L.A. The exciting victory Team Solar Eagle III celebrated at the Sunrayce 97 finish line in Colorado Springs on June 28, 1997, marks the culmination of learning, trial, and redesign gleaned from the University's first two solar race cars, the Solar Eagle and the Solar Eagle II. Cal State L.A.'s first two solar cars finished fourth and third respectively in past Sunrayce competitions, paving the way for the success of the Solar Eagle III.

What is the anatomy of a Sunrayce champ? Take a look at the Solar Eagle III's technical specifications listed below. They give the blueprint for a world-class, space-age solar vehicle, meticulously honed and refined based on the performance of its predecessors.

The Solar Eagle III: Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 427 pounds (without driver and batteries)
  • Length: 19.2 feet
  • Width: 6.3 feet
  • Height: 3.1 feet
  • Rolling Chassis: carbon fiber monocoque structure
  • Body and Solar Panel: carbon fiber skin with Nomex honeycomb core
  • Solar Cells: 762 terrestrial grade silicon cells (4.05" x 3.94") by Siemens wired in four parallel strings
  • Panel Voltage: 85-volts peak string voltage
  • Tire Rolling Resistance: .0045
  • Drag Coefficient: .15
  • Wheel Base: 104 inches
  • Wheels and Tires: wheels have composite centers with aluminum rims; tires are Bridgestone Ecopia
  • Brakes and Suspension: front brakes are mechanical hydraulic; regenerative rear brakes. Suspension is double A-arm in the front and swing arm in the rear.
  • Batteries: 108-volt system with nine 12-volt batteries by U.S. Battery Manufacturing Company. Weight=307 lbs.
  • Motor System: Two interchangeable motor systems: 1.) Wheel motor (NGM-SC-M100) and controller (NGM-SC-C100) by New Generation Motor Corporation; and 2.) DC Brushless motor (BRLS8) and controller (110H) by Solectria Corporation with belt drive.

Solar Eagle III: The Next Generation | What's New | Scenes from the Solar Eagle III Rollout |
Meet Team Solar Eagle III | Kathleen Hansen: Team Leader Profile | Sponsors: Friends of the Solar Eagle III |
Support the Team: Buy a Solar Cell! | The Solar Eagle Project: A Narrative History |
Solar Links: Everything Under the Sun | The Solar Eagle III Picture Gallery | Your Comments