Celebrating 20 Years of Solar Racing with ANSYS

On November 18, 2016, the Blue Sky Solar Racing team gathered at the MaRS Discovery District to celebrate our past achievements and to look forward to the future. We hosted a number of our industry sponsors, faculty supporters, and alumni who explored various displays on the team’s history including photos, trophies and artifacts from past cars. Four generations of cars were displayed at this event as well, including Cerulean (2007), Azure (2011), B-7 (2013) and Horizon (2015). It was an incredible way to celebrate the achievements of the past 20 years of Blue Sky Solar Racing with those who have been part of our journey.

Blue Sky Solar Racing originated in early 1996 as a design project by a couple of engineering students, the “Blue Sky Project,” and has since grown to be one of the largest student design teams in Canada. Through the hard work of students and the generous support of our sponsors, we have built 8 state-of-the-art solar cars and raced in 10 international competitions.

With a 20-year history of iteration-driven design, simulation has grown to play a key role in the Blue Sky Solar Racing team’s development cycle. As a student design team, we have limited prototyping resources. However, with the help of ANSYS we can be confident that our designs will work as expected. ANSYS has grown to play a key role in this process with each generation finding new ways to leverage the powerful tools provided.  ANSYS Advantage covered the story of our entry in the Australian 2013 Bridgestone World Challenge.

4 Generations of Solar Cars showcased

From CFD analysis with ANSYS Fluent to mechanical load analysis with Static Structural, rapid simulation enables us to quickly converge on an optimal design and make key decisions early in the process. In addition, ANSYS allows us to evaluate materials such as carbon, aluminum or Kevlar (to name a few) for key components such as wheel rims, suspension and chassis, saving considerable prototyping time.

Roll Cage

This year we were able to experiment with ANSYS Spaceclaim, a software program that was very effective for cleaning our CAD. Many meshing and manufacturing problems we had in the past were easily fixed using Spaceclaim. After two decades of realizing the value of simulation-aided design, the team has taken one step further and started running ANSYS on our in-house developed computing cluster. This has made it possible to accelerate the design process and design a car better than any before, a car that showcases the future of automotive technologies.

As the ninth generation of Blue Sky Solar Racing, we are excited to be working with the same mission to educate, innovate, and achieve excellence in worldwide competitions racing solar powered electric vehicles. Moving forward, we are focused on manufacturing and testing our ninth generation car for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2017.

Thank you ANSYS for your support and we thank everyone who has helped us on our journey! Here’s to many more exciting projects and races ahead for Blue Sky Solar Racing!

Additional images we hope you’ll enjoy:

Wind Tunnel Testing at National Research Council Air Tunnel Facilities in Ottawa

solar racing ansysAmerican Solar Challenge 2016 – Horizon at Scott’s Bluff National Monument, NE

77 – Blue Sky Solar Racing’s team number, displayed with Nanoleaf Aurora Panels

Attendees look at past photos of the team