Power of One project's goal is perfecting solar technology for tomorrow's hybrid cars as high oil prices peak interest in alternative vehiclesCONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 14, 2005— COSMOSWorks(R) design analysis software has helped perfect key systems of a revolutionary new Canadian solar car that passed a recent round of track tests without a single incident, SolidWorks Corporation announced today.
The Power of One solar car completed a battery of speed, brake, and stability trials in July that confirmed its COSMOSWorks-tested suspension and steering systems are ready to drive on Canada's roads as soon as the government grants permission. Engineers for the Toronto-based Power of One project used COSMOSWorks software to anticipate whether these systems would stand up to real-world road conditions - from warm and dry to cold and icy, at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
Power of One engineers designed the solar car's front end support arm in SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software. Then they ran COSMOSWorks FEA (finite element analysis) tests on the 3D solid models to determine how they would perform as physical objects. The test showed that the support arm would probably fail under the load it had to support. The Power of One staff tried reinforcing the arm but it grew too heavy. They designed a new arm that passed the COSMOSWorks test. Those results were vindicated when the solar car drove for the first time in December 2004, then again in March 2005 in the first test of a solar-powered car in freezing temperatures on icy roads.
"By the time we drove the car again in July we had only one failure, and that was due to a manufacturing flaw and not the design," said Power of One Program Director Marcelo da Luz. "All the modifications we based on the COSMOSWorks analysis held up."
The Power of One solar car was built to set world distance records and promote the use of sustainable energy, unlike most solar cars that are built for races. Most solar cars are designed only for controlled conditions on a track, but the Power of One project's focus is practical solar technology that manufacturers can adapt into future mass-produced vehicles.
Public interest in such innovations is growing as crude oil soared to near $70 per barrel in August and gas prices rose in response. Hybrid vehicles sales are growing faster than any other category, and the recently approved US energy bill includes tax credits for hybrid car buyers.
"The Power of One's work is so specialized and advanced that they have very little existing knowledge they can use as a model to guide their designing," said Suchit Jain, vice president for analysis products at SolidWorks. "At the same time, the program has the same cost and time pressures that a commercial project would, so they need all the savings they can get. COSMOSWorks gives Power of One engineers the flexibility to design freely without worrying about material costs and lost time from prototypes that don't work."
About SolidWorks Corporation
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. It is the #1 supplier of 3D mechanical design software for the mainstream market. SolidWorks leads the market in number of users in production, customer satisfaction, and revenue. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).
SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOSWorks is a registered trademark of Structural Research and Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2005 SolidWorks Corporation.
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