Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Michelin Design Challenge 2015

The tire is essentially what is giving you your driving experience; with out the optimum tire the senses that are relayed back to the driver would be lost. The senses that you experience while driving the vehicle to its limits are unique to the type of driving you are doing, whether it may be cruising along the ocean, racing down a mountain on brutal hair pin turns, or forging your own path off-roading in the middle of no where.
All of these very different styles of driving require a very different type of tire, the cruiser would prefer a tire that is very comfortable and quiet, the racer wants something that is responsive and has a lot of grip, and the off roader would need something that has a lot of traction and act as some of the vehicles suspension. Having a versatile vehicle that has as wheel and tire design that is versatile enough and can adapt to the changes in the roads surface.
Obviously there are issues with the electric cars of today. The batteries take up a very large portion of the car, they have a short life, and they do not have a very large capacity for energy. The next step in electric propelled vehicles is a germanium based lithium battery and is reinforced by nanotubes, also referred to as the Nanowire battery. 
These nanotubes are made out of silicon and can expand and contract with the germanium. Nanowire batteries are able to provide about 20% higher energy capacity than todays lithium ion battery and they also extend the life of the battery to over 1,000 cycles longer. To take advantage of the sunny environment solar panels will be utilized. Solar panels typically require a large surface area to soak up as much light as possible but with a process called singlet fission the need for larger solar panels is not as great. Singlet fission is the process that involves a layer of crystal over the panel that will generate two electrons from a single photon. This process will give us up to 30% more energy from the same size paneling. In addition recent technology allow solar paneling to basically take any shape because it cannot be printed onto flexible sheets.

These technological improvements will provide enough freedom to create a unique, versatile, and relevant wheel and tire combination as well as the entire vehicle system that will convey how this wheel will be utilized to its fullest extent.

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