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The design and construction of the TM PV1.
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Website complete! PV1 has been put on hold. Updates with the PV1 can be found here and below in the PROJECT UPDATES list.

In October of 2009, I took an interest into solar cars. These are the vehicles that are especially built for solar "rayces" that have been going on since its concept's inception in 1987. Three popular rayces are the World Solar Challenge, which runs in Australia, the North American Solar Car Challenge, and the Hunt-Winston School Solar Car Challenge, which runs in the USA.
The first solar car was the Solar Trek, built by Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins. They drove it from Perth to Sydney, Australia in 1983. This led to the World Solar Challenge that started in 1987. GM built the Sunraycer to compete in this challenge. After finishing in first place by  a long shot, they developed the technology and created the GM Impact. The Impact developed into the EV1, which started the modern electric car movement. Today's solar car rayces and EV's were inspired by the Solar Trek. 
The name of my solar car, TM PV1, was thought up while I was sitting in chemistry class learning about Boyle's Law, which is PV=K, but is rearranged to P1V1=P2V2 to find a missing variable. I was working on an example problem, so I wrote down the equation, but didn't write the 1 between the P and the V. I wrote it down like "P V 1 (then wrote the other 1) equals P V 2 (then the other 2)". It dawned on me after a couple of times that solar panels are often called PV panels, and I would have really liked to own an EV1, so I thought "PV1, I could call my car that." So the name is a play on GM EV1, shows that it is solar powered, and it's the first car I built. I put the TM in the name in case I would create more than one model.

This is the Solar Trek
This car sparked the solar car races and the modern electric car movement

For the PV1, I have been looking at different designs for the car. This range included delta type trikes, tadpole type trikes, and four-wheeled vehicles. I got many ideas about how I want to design my own car and what features and accessories to put in the car. Below are some of the files created to keep track of my progress. There are Microsoft Word and Excel files below, which are compatible with versions 97 to 2007. Please contact me if you have problems downloading any of my forms and I will try to remedy the issue.
If you came to this website to download my adopt-a-solar cell, adopt-a-battery, or general contribution forms, they are below and their titles are "solar cell adoption form", "battery adoption form", and "general contribution form".

Solar cell adoption form

battery adoption form

General contribution form



Phase one of the project, which is R&D, or research and design, has been completed.
Phase two of the project, which is DTE, or design trial and error, has been completed.
Phase three of the project, which is 1/18 scale prototyping, has been completed.
Phase four of the project, which is financial planning and re-organizing the parts list according to priority, is complete.
Phase five of the project, which is construction, has been put off indefinitely.

The PV1 has been overhauled and redone, and has entered its "beta" stage. The three 85 watt panels will no longer fit on the car and will stay on the house for the off-grid system. Fifteen 60 watt solar panels will be used on the car instead to provide 900 watts of recharging power. The 15 watt and 5 watt solar panels will maintain the 12 volt aux. batteries.

Components purchased so far: 15 watt solar panel, radio, horn and ped. chirp buttons, 12 volt power ports and voltmeter, USB charging ports, storage tray, horn, the solar array frame, and the auxiliary 12 volt battery.

The TM PV1 is a 1,900 pound, three-wheeled, tadpole-type, solar car. The tadpole-type wheel layout puts two wheels in the front that steer the vehicle while the lone rear wheel drives. The PV1 was designed from the ground-up to be a practical commuter car for one person, but design changes have made the PV1 a two-seater. It is powered solely by the 915 watt onboard solar array. The solar array is made up of 26 monocrystalline solar panels containing 366 cells. The power flows from the solar array to an MPPT charge controller, then to the PV1's 76.8 volt, 400 Ah lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. A full recharge can be completed in 10 hours from a level 2 EV charger. The PV1 is driven by a 40 HP PMAC motor with regenerative brakes, hooked to the rear wheel through a #40 chain. The rack and pinion steering box does not have power assist, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem with the car being lightweight. Reverse is activated by flipping a switch.

Process in pictures:

This is the Blue Turtle, which has been built by
the Walnut Solar Car Team. I thank them for their insight into the design of my car.

This is the area of the PV1
The length and width are approximately equal to a Chevy Tahoe

This is a model of the PV1 that I built
It is 1/18 scale, missing the dome, and R/C driveable

This is my model of the PV1
It's now complete, but lost its RC capabilities for proper aerodynamic testing

This is a computer-generated drawing of the PV1
This drawing shows true dimensions under a proper scale.

Latest drawing showing two seat arrangement
PV1 and Astrolab are now very close in specs