We were excited that Eaton decided to partner with our team at the Platinum level as we designed, built, and raced Novum!
While this was not Eaton’s first cycle with the team, we were thrilled by their increased involvement this cycle! This build cycle, we had the pleasure of collaborating with Eaton on multiple facets of our car. Eaton provided products that helped in the assembly of Novum over the summer of 2017, as well as engineering support throughout both 2017 and 2018 as we raced Novum in 2 races.
Eaton and UM Solar Car both are interested in pushing what’s next in eMobility. Craig Jacobs, the Director of New Product Introduction for Eaton’s eMobility and a Solar Car Team alum, explains, “Students working with industry forms a great learning experience for all involved. The students get some real world teamwork and problem solving experience not frequently taught in the classroom. From the company’s perspective, it gives us access to creative ideas and perspectives that we don’t see every day. Students tend to ask ‘why’ and ‘why not’ a little bit more than experienced engineers and drive innovation and creative thinking.” Jacobs also notes, “The students who get into teams like solar car and really contribute are those that are in it because they want to be engineers and work on cutting edge technology.”
The Eaton team was eager to help our team as they looked for a platform to showcase advancing technologies. And 2017 was a great year to do so, because UM Solar Car pushed the bounds of what a solar car can and should look like, building a radically small solar car that sports a state-of-the-art, space-grade, multi-junction gallium arsenide array. We appreciate Eaton providing us with machining and real-world products from their catalog. All of these products and machining were key to our success in 2017 and 2018.
We can’t thank Eaton enough for the contributions they made to Novum to ensure the car is safe, reliable, and as efficient as possible. Eaton helped develop Novum’s array stand, which was integral to our competitive advantage; it allowed us to get the most out of our state-of-the-art array. 2017 Race Mechanical Engineer, Jake Anderson explains that “Eaton machined three sets of array stand components for us. Without these components, the car would not have functioned, making [Eaton’s] contribution critical to the success of our vehicle.” These components allowed our 2017 Race Crew to raise Novum’s array and angle it in the optimal position. This positioning maximizes the power that the array takes in from the sun. The array stand components were of the highest quality; Eaton anodized them, giving the metal parts a thin coating to ensure that no corrosion develops.
As we head into the design cycle for our 15th car, we are looking for new ways to collaborate with Eaton, both in using more of their electrical products and gaining help with engineering design and machining.