P15 Eliana


PRISUM Solar Car made a monumental shift in solar vehicle development in 2017 with the creation of P14 Penumbra, the first-ever multi-occupant solar vehicle designed and built by the team. P15 Eliana was created with the vision of taking many of the lessons learned in the creation of Penumbra to ever-increasing heights. Doing this involved:

– Iterating on the already proven dynamics systems to increase reliability.

– Implementing the double pontoon profile from the aeroshell.

– Keeping many practical features that pushed Penumbra into the spotlight of solar vehicle development.

These particular aspects do not imply that simply iterating makes Eliana special and different from the rest. Eliana was created with the same vision of creating a practical everyday solar vehicle like Penumbra with the added goal of pushing its performance capabilities. One main factor that sticks out in this aspect is that Eliana is a two-seater vehicle, which was a decision to achieve a higher aerodynamic coefficient of drag and overall lighter vehicle weight, which makes Eliana far more capable of reaching longer distances than what was previously possible. Reliability and efficiency became the two biggest goals to achieve with Eliana, evidenced by an entirely new electrical system that prioritizes being a capable system that can be iterated on for the future. On the mechanical side, a composites-based suspension attachment, along with an all-new composites regimen being implemented to reduce the need for heavy metallic structural members in favor of high strength, and lightweight composites, increases the safety of the occupants while reducing the overall weight of the car.

With all these great innovations, P15 Eliana has had its fair share of setbacks, with development and construction stalled due to the COVID pandemic and transferring knowledge from one team to the next. But through these challenges, PrISUm Solar Car was able to emerge stronger than ever with a car that stands as a testament to this perseverance, embodying the spirit of what it means to be a student of Iowa State and a member of PrISUm Solar Car.

Eliana was unveiled in May of 2021 and shortly after participated in its flagship event, the 2021 Formula Sun Grand Prix, where the team placed 3rd in the MOV class. The next event that Eliana can be spotted in is the 2022 Midwestern Solar Challenge, a mock race between PrISUm Solar Car and the University of Minnesota’s Solar Vehicle Project. Afterward, both teams will meet again at the 2022 Formula Sun Grand Prix and 2022 American Solar Challenge to go head-to-head against other multi-occupant solar cars from across the United States and Canada.

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