The second generation ultra-lightweight solar-powered vehicle, Ilanga II, is already under development for 2012 to compete in regional, national and international races. While the Ilanga prototype serves as an excellent platform to test systems and processes, in order to be competitive in an international Solar Challenge, UJ must produce a world-class solar vehicle using the best modern materials and technology.
To maximise performance, Ilanga II will be built from the best available materials and components. An ultra-lightweight monocoque chassis that supports the structural load of the vehicle by using the external skin of the solar vehicle will be incorporated in the design; more efficient solar cells and cutting-edge lithium technology batteries will increase energy production; and smaller, more efficient motors will ensure efficient energy conversion. The design and systems tested on the prototype vehicle will be further refined to deliver a solar vehicle ready to compete at international level. The Light Materials Research Centre and Manufacturing Research Centre based at the Mechanical Engineering Department at UJ will contribute to the mechanical design and manufacture of the solar powered vehicle, focusing on the intelligent use of ultra-lightweight materials and increased efficiency through aerodynamic design of the solar vehicle. Energy optimisation algorithms and battery management systems developed on the prototype vehicle will be optimised for application on Ilanga II. The continuity of the project will allow the same students to continue the research begun on the prototype vehicle at a higher level for the Ilanga II.
- Ilanga II Initial Concepts After progressing through a few design iterations, we now have a final design concept which we will use as a basis for the CAD design. The body...