My name is Derek Quiroz, and I am a Third Year Electrical Engineering student heading this year's Solar Team. I became interested in the advancement of solar energy through my exposure in the courses EE145 and EE180J, and have since tried to nurture interest in solar power through my peers in Formula Slug. My goal for the Solar Team is to provide a hands-on learning environment where students can design and fabricate solar-powered utilities that provide a positive impact on the Santa Cruz community.
An ongoing project from 2015-2016, Solar-Lincoln is the codename for the solar array that we will bring to the FSAE competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. Rather than using a diesel generator to charge devices and run power tools at competition, we plan to bring a homemade solar array of 8 panels, connected to an insulated work station, equipped with outlets. Expected completion of the project is the end of Winter Quarter 2017, to allow a full quarter for testing before competition season.
Beginning Fall 2017, we hope to work on the fabrication of Small-Device Solar Charging Stations (SDSCS) for high-density areas around campus. These locations include bus stops, the Quarry plaza, and the East Field. The SDSCS would be off-the-grid solar charging stations for students, faculty, and visitors to safely charge laptops, phones, or other small devices.
In collaboration with Jennifer Parker from the Arts Department, our third project is the design and implementation of outdoor solar-charging workstations. We plan to design and build picnic tables integrated with outlets and charged by solar panels. Similar to the Solar-SDSCS, these tables will provide students with an outdoor workspace that caters to today's technological demands. The prototypes and final design will be tested behind the Digital Arts Research Center in the Arts courtyard.