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Stanford University Solar Car Project Features Carbon Composite Chassis

  • Tuesday, 16th August 2011
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  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

The Stanford Solar Car Project has officially unveiled Xenith, a solar-powered vehicle that boasts several industry-leading technological innovations, including a lightweight carbon composite chassis.

“”The plan is to win,”” said Nathan Hall-Snyder, President of the Stanford Solar Car Project, a group of undergraduates dedicated to building and racing solar-powered vehicles. In October, after two years of hard work on their latest creation, Xenith, the team will be heading to Australia to compete in the World Solar Challenge, held every two years.

The Xenith has been built in Stanford’s Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory and Hall-Snyder said “”This year we focused on designing the most aerodynamic shell possible, and then designed everything else to fit inside.”” According to Stanford the car weighs just 375 pounds which is down to its 4-inch thin chassis that is made of a unique blend of carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium. Stanford University explain that the vehicle creates less aerodynamic drag than a rider on a bicycle and it can cruise continuously at over 55 miles per hour fueled only by the sun.

Stanford says that during the school year, late-night work sessions are common, including one marathon 45-hour session to “”bake”” the composite body of the vehicle.

The 11th World Solar Challenge in Australia will see Stanford racing against 30 other teams, including cars from 20 countries.


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