Solar Centipede – Part III – Aerodynamic Modelling

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In Solar Centipede – Part I, a guesstimate was made to calculate the aerodynamic drag of the lead carriage and subsequent cargo carriages.

The aerodynamic properties of the vehicle have now been modelled more accurately.

Unfortunately, the aerodrag is greater than the earlier estimate. Even at 30km/h the vehicle would run an energy deficit of 14.5kw/h over 24 hours.

In order to maintain a constant speed on available energy, the vehicle would only be able to average a speed of 10.5km/h over a 24 hour period.

With such low power available for movement and considerable energy consumed by rolling friction an extremely aerodynamic shape is necessary to make this design viable.

Updated analysis here -> Updated Energy Spreadsheet

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