Is the sun a feasible source for satisfying our society's energy needs?
At the University of New Mexico, we believe that solar power can be realistically and efficiently harnessed by use of photo voltaic devices. research being conducted across the world continues to make advancements toward solar technology becoming a reasonable and efficient alternative to the fossil fuels on which we rely today. The UNM Mechanical Engineering Department has dedicated a senior-level engineering organization to participate in Solar Splash, a national solar-powered motorboat competition. This page will be updated continually with information about the design process and condition of the UNM Solar Splash craft.
2018 UNM SOLAR SPLASH Team Boat
This year, the team has elected to stick with the 13 ft Gheenoe for the balance of speed and maneuverability. The team is going to transition to a twin drive motor system to increase power and speed during the sprint event. The team will also be re-applying a hydrophobic coating to the hull to better slice through the water. A new solar cell array is in the works and a cooling system will be used to increase power output from the solar cells. If time permits, the team plans to lay the groundwork for future teams to add hydrofoils and an outboard motor.
Previous Teams' Boats
For 2017, we are going to be using a completely new hull. The design we chose to go with is a 13 foot Gheenoe from Gheen Manufacturing Inc. out of Titusville, Florida. The design is slimmer, lighter, made out of fiberglass, and has a sharper bow and a flat hull which is beneficial for speed and maneuverability.
Measuring the area required for the solar panels, with Daniel Taylor, Sean Fattor, and Terese Martinez.
The 2016 team used a Aluminum Tracker 14 foot Jon Boat for competition. The flat bottom proved useful during the slalom event and helped deliver a second place trophy. Due to the shape of the hull, it was very easy to develop a solar panel mounting surface and the team was fully utilize the space available.