CalSMV, the Super Mileage Vehicle Team at the University of California, Berkeley participates in competitions such as the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas and SAE Supermileage, where students design and build a car with the purpose of obtaining maximum fuel efficiency.
CalSMV is an award winning student-run team whose goal is to complement the education of students at UC Berkeley with practical, hands-on experience. We encourage students of any major to come out and participate in CalSMV work sessions, which we usually hold on Saturdays. For more information about joining our team and what we do, please visit the about section. To join our mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
News and Updates:
9/1/2012 New Additions !
Today we gave a tour of our garage to those who were interested in joinging the SMV Team. We will begin work on a new chassis begginging next week.
8/23/2012 New Semester, New Car, New Team
Hello Prospective CalSMV members, thank you for your interest in Cal SMV!
Who are we? CalSMV is the UC Berkeley competition team focused on building the most fuel efficient vehicle possible. We aim to have two cars running by the end of the school year. One is planned to achieve 500+ MPG, the other 1200+ MPG. Our members are accomplished engineers interested in having fun, working hard and gaining valuable experience outside of class. Our past alumni have jobs at Ford and Fisker Automotive as well as many other companies outside the automotive field.
Who are we looking for? We are looking for engineers interested in having fun, working hard and gaining valuable experience outside of class just like us. We want students with leadership experience who are interested in taking on responsibility within the team. Students of all majors are welcome to join. Freshmen are welcome and we offer the unique opportunity to get training in the student machine shop. Cal SMV members have the opportunity to learn SolidWorks, develop design skills and find out what it means to be part of a large-scale engineering project.
3/25/12--Competition Roadtrip Eve
On the eve of our roadtrip to the Shell Ecomarathon Americas 2012, we have a running car that we can drive around the parking lot of our garage. We are glowing about as bright as our canary yellow fairings. We are so excited to represent the University of California at this event and hope to come home with some numbers on the scoreboard. Stay tuned for more details as we start the drive.
We are just about a month from packing up the trailor and heading to Houston. This year has gone by so fast and it's hard to believe we're only a month away from being able to show off our new car! She is well on her way to completion-she now has a chassis that has a firewall and rollbar and can be mounted to the bottom fairing. The last issues to work out include the powertrain assembly, finishing up the engine and getting all the last minute details in order, like where to mount the wheel covers and how to mount the mating blocks for the fairings. We have a lot of details still to wrap up (and a lot of late nights ahead!!) but we've been sticking to our schedule so far and things are looking good for the next month.
Tonight we laid up our firewall to our chassis. We went with a non-conventional method, ditching the "foam and electrical tape" method of wrapping the whole thing in electrical tape and sticking foam in between the supports to help square the edges. Instead, we took our time to get all the square edges by hand, and masking-taped down every single carbon fiber edge, to help the carbon fiber stay close to the firewall and keep the edges from getting dangerously sharp.
Nine weeks and Counting
We are officially nine weeks away from leaving for the Shell Ecomarathon Americas 2012. We now have both of our fairings laid up and we are in the process of sanding and patching them and getting them ready for a coat of paint (bright yellow this year). We are also finishing up machining our engine and steering parts. We'll be going into major assembly mode in the next weeks so we can get some testing in before we leave for Houston.
SMV would like to thank Hexcel for their donation of one roll of carbon fiber and Fi Comm and ESC for a $600 grant toward competition. Our team really depends on donations and we really appreciate the support of our sponsors.
The past few weeks have been spent working on molds (we're almost done!) and machining many steering and engine parts. The engine rebuild is going well, and we're aiming to have a working engine (running carb) by December. The steering machining is going very well thanks to our active machinists (who are a HUGE help) and we are on track to be ready in time for competition (23 weeks!).
Although the tarp leaked water into the foam of our molds, the fiberglass still cured and we have a pretty decent surface to begin with. There are some wrinkles, and in retrosect,we should not have rushed the layup, and should have taken our time to more carefully smooth out the wrinkles in the fabric, but they weren't too bad. After some serious sanding Saturday, we then covered the mold in a thin layer of bondo, which we can then sand and apply gelcoat to. Then, there's only a little more sanding and we're ready to layup our new fairing!
Our first official worksession of the year was today! We didn't get much attendance, but we still managed to layup one layer of fiberglass in our molds. We finished shaping the foam a few weeks ago, and started to complete the top mold. Since we can't vacuum bag it, we decided to cover the fiberglass with a tarp and fill the entire mold with water. We tried to be as careful as we could about smoothing out wrinkles and creases in the fabric, to prevent an enormous amount of very painful sanding later on. We're going out later this week to layup another layer, and then we get to sand. Our favorite...but it'll be worth it when we can make good-looking molds.
Molds Molds Molds
We've decided that instead of just re-fiberglassing and fixing up our molds from last year, we want to try to re-shape our molds a bit. Mostly, we want to decrease their volume. We filled the top of the driver's compartment with X-30 expanding foam, as well as the spine of the top fairing. We wanted to try to take in the sides also, but trying to stick sheet foam to the molds with spray adhesive didn't work, so we re-thought our priorities and decided to let go of that idea, and just focus on shrinking the driver's compartment as much as possible. The garage will probably be un-visited for the next two weeks, but we'll be back after a short summer hiatus and back to work soon.
First Garage Trip of the Summer
Yesterday a pair of us went out to the garage (Happy Fourth of July!) and got started on re-vamping our female molds. We've decided to fill the inside edges with foam, in order to decrease the volume, without having to remake entirely new molds. We started with adding some X-30 (expanding foam) into the top of the driver's compartment, and we'll soon be using foam sheets to decrease the width of the fairings. It was a pretty decent workday until somebody...(me)...left their keys at the garage and didn't realize it until I got home. Helpful tip to all you SMVers...don't ever do that. Make sure you leave the garage with your keys on you.
This summer we're designing new steering parts, fixing up our molds and working on our engine, and we'll be ready to work in full force as soon as classes start in August.
End of Competition Season
Here's the story from SAE.
Nearing the end
We're now two weeks from leaving for SAE in Michigan.
Shell Eco-Marathon Photos
The story of competition is finally up! Sorry for the delay, and I can't vouch for it's accuracy for the last couple days, they all start to blur together. But check it out.
See archived announcements from the 10-11 season and earlier.