Benefits Why Solar Vehicle Project is Good for You

- 2 mins

Markdown Image Solar Car - EOS

I have joined many student-led organizations at my university but my presence doesn’t last for at most 2 weeks and I’m out. From laziness to low self-esteem, the excuses are endless. In January 2016, I decided to get my crap together and committed myself to participating the Solar Vehicle Project (SVP).

All the advice about how joining student clubs will benefit you are TRUE. 6 months later, I experienced these benefits first hand and I’d like to share them.

Note : These benefits are specifically tailored towards engineering students in particular

1. Gain new technical skills

In these past 6 months, I have to admit that I have gained a fair amount of skills. I volunteered to work on creating a secondary pack circuit board from scratch for the solar Car. The use of the circuit board is to essentially aid to kickstart the car for ASC 2016. To do that I would have done the following things to make it happen (in general) :

  1. Understand how battery, charger works
  2. Design the circuit board
  3. Research and choose electrical components for the circuit board
  4. Soldering
  5. Programming the circuit board
  6. Lots of testing and debugging

I have learned how to design a circuit board using Altium from scratch, solder, program the STM32L4 microcontroller and much more.

This project really took a lot of effort but it was worth every second of it. To illustrate my effort thus far. Enjoy the pictures below! :)

Markdown Image Circuit board before soldering all the components

Markdown Image Done!

2. Meet like-minded peers

Many of our like-minded peers can also teach you valuable skills. The next time you have a question or hit a roadblock? They are there for you!

3. Opportunity to deliver presentations

We have different subsystems in our Electrical Team. And each one needs to give several presentations (Design Review, Schematic Design Review etc) before the circuit board was ordered. I like this idea because it is very structured and student members are able to ask / comment or even pinpoint any mistakes I made (yeah there’s a bunch). I also find this a good chance to brush up my public speaking skills.

So there you go, my top 3 reasons why joining SVP is good. Till the next post.

4. Join the race crew and compete with other solar cars

Though I personally have not participated any of the American Solar Challenge (ASC) or World Solar Challenge (WSC). But this opportunity is really worth if you want to find something to do during summer with a feel of cars.

The advantages are endless if you think about it. You get the point!

Joshua S. Min

Joshua S. Min

Your friendly Computer Engineer

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