Next Generation of Electronics Engineers Shine Light on Future Energy Technology
Altium (ASX: ALU), the electronics design industry’s leading developer of unified electronic product development solutions, is supporting the future of design innovation in two student projects from the University of New South Wales and the University of Iowa. The students are using Altium’s unified electronics design solution to design, build and race solar cars in a series of competitions to promote the development of solar energy.
In Australia, Altium is supporting the University of New South Wales’ Solar Racing Team, Sunswift. The team is developing a solar powered racing car that will compete in both the World Solar Challenge in 2009, the world’s first and premier solar racing event, and the inaugural South Africa Solar Challenge (SASC) in 2010.
Students are using Altium’s unified electronic design environment to build a complete suite of electronics, including new driver controls, monitoring systems and a new braking system. These systems will have to endure more than 7,000 km of extreme conditions, from the hot, dry desert of Australia to the tough, hilly coast of South Africa.
“The team’s objectives are to develop innovative technologies, provide a platform for practical learning for students and promote a sustainable future, and Altium is helping make these dreams a reality,” said Clara Mazzone, Project Leader, Sunswift.
Altium is also supporting the Iowa State University’s PrISUm solar racing team, which is designing, Sol Invictus, its ninth car for competition. This latest car will be featured in the North America Solar Challenge (NASC) 2008, traveling from Dallas, Texas to Calgary, Alberta, Canada — a total of 3,861km.
Altium’s unified electronics design solution is being used on the largest electronics project, a new battery protection system for the car. The new system, which comprises several PCBs, will help protect the car’s lithium-ion batteries by monitoring all 30 battery modules for voltage levels, temperature and current. It also allows the driver to switch off battery modules that can be susceptible to damage from surges in voltage, or from excessive temperatures.
Students are also using Altium’s unified electronics design solution to develop a range of custom electronics that will be incorporated into the car’s final design. These include power supplies, a speedometer and power meter displays. A driver interface will display performance data, and a communication link will send data from the car’s battery protection system and motor controller, to team members, allowing them to implement features such as cruise control.
“Altium Designer is a great asset to the team. With it, we’ve been able to capture schematics and complete layouts quicker than ever. With the extra time we now have to spend on design work, our team is sure to be successful in the forthcoming competition,” comments Scott Elliott, Director of Electrical Systems, Team PrISUm.
Altium supports tomorrow’s electronics innovators with a worldwide program of sponsored and donated software licenses. The company provides its unified electronics design solution to more than 900 universities and educational institutions worldwide.
Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) provides world-leading unified design solutions that break down the barriers to innovation, and help organizations easily harness the latest devices and technologies, to create their next generation of electronic products.
Altium’s solutions are unique because they unify the separate processes of electronics design, all within a single electronics design environment, working off a single data model, which links all the aspects of electronics product design into one process.
Founded in 1985, Altium has headquarters in Sydney, Australia, sales offices in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, and resellers in all other major markets. For more information, please visit www.altium.com.
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