Solar Car Power Management


© 1996
Paul Vincent Craven
All Rights Reserved

Solar powered vehicles have a limited amount of energy available at any one time for transportation. This thesis is about the creation of a program whose purpose is to gather and analyze information about the solar car's operation. With this information, we are trying to get the vehicle from Point A to Point B using the least amount of power, or at the fastest speed possible. Gathering data on the solar car is accomplished by the use of electronic sensors, embedded computers on the solar car, digital radio communications to a support vehicle, and storage of the information on a computer network operated in the support van. Data about the terrain of the race route is gathered using a differential global positioning system. Analysis of the car and terrain data is done using user-constructed graphs and tables, and energy management algorithms. This adaptable framework of information and processing power gives the user the tools to find how to best operate the solar car. Some of the more advanced features of this system are an integrated query language, use of differential GPS data, multi-threading, and a graphical user interface.

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Paul Vincent Craven
Last updated 14 July 96