News of the IEEE/PELS SOLAR SPLASH® 2015
Volume 22 – Number 1 – December 2014
An IEEE/PELS Event
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Splash Headquarters Address and Contact Point is:
Dr. Jeffrey Morehouse
309 Newridge Road
Lexington, SC, USA 29072
Our site for this year (and for at least next year) will again be at the MetroPark’s Eastwood Park Lake just outside downtown Dayton, Ohio. The host school for the event is Cedarville University. The dates for Splash 2015 are similar to those of last year, June 10-14, 2015. Dayton is located in the southern part of Ohio, and you can see a travel map, the site location, and other travel information by clicking on the “Travel and site information” link on the Splash website menu at www.solarsplash.com.
The preparations for Splash 2015 are underway at Splash Headquarters, and we hope that your team is also planning and preparing to come. So far, we have heard from 8 new teams that are preparing to attend Splash 2015! Headquarter activities at this point include: securing sponsorships, answering your questions, keeping the webpage updated, and keeping lines of communication open between Splash Headquarters and you! So don’t hesitate to contact us by email, phone, or post – and let us know you are there and working to meet and compete in 2015!
If you’re planning to enter in 2015, drop us an email note now so we can get the ‘contacts’ between us firmly in place – and to get your team listed/linked on the webpage as preparing a boat for the 2015 Splash!
Listed below are two items which may help you and your team get started or re-started on your solar boat project: the Solar Splash Handbook, and free downloads of last year’s top Technical Reports.
Solar Splash Handbook: Chapter 1. Chapter 1 of the ‘Handbook’ is available under “The Handbook” menu item back on the main website (www.solarsplash.com). This is an article that should be read and re-read by all teams – both rookie and returning. It provides a guide to setting up all the elements it takes to establish a top-flight project team.
Top Five 2014 Technical Reports for Free. The top 5 Technical Reports from last year’s Splash are available for downloading by going to the “Technical Report Information” listing on the Splash website menu (www.solarsplash.com). Reading these reports and seeing the boats and equipment provides a wealth of technical information, plus they demonstrate how to structure a highly rated report! Note: This year’s Technical Report will be due Monday, May 4th, 2015.
You need to go to the website (www.solarsplash.com) to find the Entry Form for the competition. The fee has not changed, but the entry fee dates are slightly different than last year. The ‘early fee’ is $400 if you get your entry form in by January 12th, but the entry fee increases to $500 if you enter after that date. The cut-off date for entries is April 28th, 2015. Again, getting the entry form to Headquarters is critical for meeting the dates, not when the check arrives! [However, sending the entry form in “promises” that you will pay the fee — and the fee is “non-refundable” after the entry form has been submitted!!]
While no major Rule changes are being made for 2015, a major Rule change was made for 2014. This Rule change is being called the “only two sets of batteries” rule (Rule 7.4.1), which means that only two sets (instead of the previous four sets) of lead-acid batteries will be allowed. The weight limit for each of the two sets is 100 pounds/45.5 kilograms per set. As before, only one set of batteries will be allowed in any run during any event.
This Rule change is being made to “challenge” teams’ energy management planning and execution. Reducing the number of battery sets to two reduces the stored energy able to be “brought into the Splash”, thus requiring more management of the stored energy during the event, especially management of the recharging of the batteries. This Rule change can be seen in the Rules (Rule 7.4.1) as posted on the Splash website.
Another Rules Note: It is the discretion of the Splash officials to conduct the ‘direction’ of travel in the Manueverability, Slalom, Sprint, and Endurance Courses as is seen fit. Thus, clockwise, counter-clockwise, left-ward, or right-ward changes to the directions as seen in the Rules, or as conducted in previous Splash competitions, should be planned for.
Captain Solar’s questions and answers arise from team questions that are sent in to Splash Headquarters and are seen as information many teams might need to know.
Question: Captain Solar received a question on solar panel testing involving the 52 volt open-circuit limit.
Answer: Two types of photovoltaic panels are typically brought to Solar Splash: those bought from a PV company and those built by students. Purchased panels are verified for compliance with the Rules by checking the maximum power output and open-circuit voltage on the manufacturer’s labels, plus checking how the parallel-series PVpanel arrangement will meet the 52 volt open-circuit limit. This will not change. Student-built panels will be verified for compliance by using the specifications of the individual cells. The maximum power of each cell will be multiplied by the number of cells to determine the total power. As an incentive for teams to build their own panels, a 10% allowance will be given, i.e., the total power of the individual cells can add up to 528 Watts. Teams that build panels will be required to provide the individual cell specifications at Inspection, and meet the 52 volt limit involving cell and panel arrangement.