Dassault Systèmes' is a leader in 3D design software, 3D digital mock-up and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. Its applications helped the solar car team improve workflow and agility, and significantly reduce development and production time in designing its seventh-generation vehicle. The Blue Sky Solar Car team competed in the eight-day World Solar Challenge (WSC) 2013 race across Australia, ending October 13.
The WSC is the world's largest solar vehicle event. This year's event consists of 38 teams from 22 countries racing over a 3,021 kilometer (1,877 mile) course. According to the event's director the race "seeks to inspire some of the brightest young people on the planet to address the imperatives of sustainable transport."
Typical design-build cycles for past races have taken four years, but much like demand for new innovations in the global auto industry, teams must compress their work into a fraction of that time while delivering a final product that is increasingly more complex and sophisticated. The Blue Sky Solar Car team had just over a year to meet the challenge of building one of the world's most efficient and fast solar vehicles. The team, consisting of 50 UT students with a range of backgrounds and abilities, met that challenge by deploying Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform to collaborate efficiently and visualize design performance.
"The World Solar Challenge is an opportunity for tomorrow's engineers to prepare for meeting the global challenges of sustainable energy-efficient transportation," said Bruno Latchague, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, North America, Dassault Systèmes. "The Blue Sky Solar Car team has been able to move from a concept to a race in about a year with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. This is a small-scale example of the value the platform provides automotive OEMs to innovate and accelerate their design cycles to embrace the future."
Dassault Systèmes' design and realistic simulation applications allowed the Blue Sky Solar Car team to work on all their car's systems under one interface - including mechanical, electrical and aerobody - from the first concept all the way through to manufacturing. The team deployed DELMIA's Human Builder and virtual manikin applications in order to visualize ergonomics and driver comfort, and even identify and remedy flawed calculations in the design phase. SIMULIA's advanced simulation technology aided in further validating the design intent - an analysis that had previously been done using only rudimentary hand calculations.
"This was the first generation car on which we used the Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Not only did it help us collaborate better and improve work flow tremendously, it was critical to us being able to design and deliver the vehicle so quickly," said Paul Park, Managing Director of the University of Toronto Blue Sky Solar Car team. "CATIA allowed us to fully integrate the systems in the vehicle and gave us the flexibility to design a world-class aero body while SIMULIA highlighted potential problems early in the design process and helped us avoid over-design."
More information on daily race results can be found here World Solar Challenge Map .