The world is moving towards a greener future, and one of the most exciting innovations in the sustainable energy sector is solar-powered vehicles. These vehicles harness the power of the sun to propel themselves forward, making them an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered cars. One such project that caught our attention was the Gen-11 Borealis, a solar-powered racing vehicle developed by the Blue Sky Solar Racing Club at the University of Toronto.
As a leading vinyl wrap shop, Vinyl Wrap Toronto was approached by Blue Sky Solar Racing to help with the vinyl wrapping process of the Gen-11 Borealis. Our team was thrilled to be a part of this innovative project and we eagerly accepted the challenge. In this blog, we will be discussing our experience wrapping the Gen-11 Borealis solar racing vehicle, using Avery Dennison printable vinyl. We will also be highlighting the role that Vinyl Wrap Toronto played in bringing this project to life.
About Blue Sky Solar Racing and the Gen-11 Borealis
Blue Sky Solar Racing is a student-run club based out of the University of Toronto, dedicated to designing and building solar-powered vehicles. The club’s mission is to promote renewable energy and sustainable transportation through innovative engineering projects. The club’s members come from diverse academic backgrounds, including engineering, business, and computer science, and work together to develop cutting-edge solar-powered vehicles.
One of the most recent projects undertaken by Blue Sky Solar Racing is the Gen-11 Borealis, a solar-powered racing vehicle designed to participate in the American Solar Challenge, a competition that pits solar-powered vehicles against each other in a race across the United States. The Gen-11 Borealis is an impressive feat of engineering, boasting a sleek and aerodynamic design, lightweight carbon fibre construction, and state-of-the-art solar panels that can convert sunlight into energy with an efficiency of up to 24%.
The Gen-11 Borealis features four-wheel independent suspension, regenerative braking, and a top speed of around 110 km/h. The vehicle weighs in at just over 250 kilograms, making it incredibly lightweight and energy-efficient. The solar panels are located on the top of the vehicle, and the energy generated is stored in lithium-ion batteries, which power the electric motor.
The Gen-11 Borealis project would not have been possible without the support of a number of sponsors and partners, including AMD, TD Insurance, Ontario Power Generation, and of course, Vinyl Wrap Toronto. These sponsors have provided financial support, technical expertise, and other resources to help Blue Sky Solar Racing bring this innovative project to life. Their contributions have been crucial in enabling the club to design and build such an advanced solar-powered vehicle.
The Vinyl Wrapping Process
Vinyl wrapping is a process where a thin layer of vinyl film is applied to the surface of a vehicle. The vinyl film can be printed with custom graphics, designs, or colours, making it a popular choice for advertising, customization, and protection. The vinyl wrapping process requires careful preparation and attention to detail to ensure a flawless finish.
The first step in vinyl wrapping a vehicle is to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface. This involves washing the vehicle to remove any dirt, debris, or grease that may be present. Once the surface is clean, any imperfections, such as dents or scratches, are repaired, and the surface is sanded and smoothed to ensure a smooth and even surface.
For this project, Vinyl Wrap Toronto used Avery Dennison printable vinyl, a high-quality vinyl film that is known for its durability, colour fastness, and ease of use. This vinyl film is designed to be easy to apply, with air egress technology that allows for bubble-free installation. It also has a long-lasting adhesive that can withstand harsh weather conditions, UV rays, and other environmental factors.
The custom design for the Gen-11 Borealis was provided by the client, and Vinyl Wrap Toronto worked closely with them to adjust the design to fit the dimensions of the vehicle. This involved careful measurements and adjustments to ensure that the design was properly scaled and positioned.
One of the challenges faced during the wrapping process was the complex geometry of the vehicle. The Gen-11 Borealis has a unique shape that required careful planning and precision to ensure that the vinyl film was properly applied. The Vinyl Wrap Toronto team used heat guns, squeegees, and other tools to carefully mould the vinyl film to the contours of the vehicle, ensuring a seamless finish.
The vinyl wrapping process for the Gen-11 Borealis took one and a half days to complete, with the installation being done at the University of Toronto, Downtown Campus. The end result was a stunning solar racing vehicle that was sure to turn heads on the track. The vinyl wrapping process played an important role in bringing this innovative project to life, providing the finishing touches that made the Gen-11 Borealis truly stand out.
Installation at The University of Toronto
The installation of the vinyl wrap on the Gen-11 Borealis was done at the University of Toronto, Downtown Campus. This location was chosen because it provided a secure and controlled environment for the installation process, as well as access to the necessary tools and equipment.
The setup for the installation involved creating a workspace that was clean, well-lit, and well-ventilated. The Vinyl Wrap Toronto team brought all the necessary tools and materials to the location, including the Avery Dennison printable vinyl, heat guns, squeegees, and other equipment.
The timeline for the installation was one and a half days, with the Vinyl Wrap Toronto team working closely with the Blue Sky Solar Racing team to ensure that the installation was done efficiently and to a high standard. The installation process involved carefully measuring and cutting the vinyl film to fit the unique shape of the Gen-11 Borealis, as well as moulding the vinyl film to the contours of the vehicle.
One of the challenges faced during the installation process was working with a solar-powered vehicle. Because the Gen-11 Borealis is powered by solar panels, it was important to take extra care when installing the vinyl film to avoid any damage to the panels. The Vinyl Wrap Toronto team worked closely with the Blue Sky Solar Racing team to ensure that the solar panels were properly protected during the installation process.
Another unique consideration for installing vinyl on a solar-powered vehicle is the need to ensure that the vinyl film does not affect the performance of the solar panels. The Vinyl Wrap Toronto team used high-quality vinyl film that is known for its durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, ensuring that the solar panels were not negatively affected by the installation.
The installation process at the University of Toronto was a success, with the Gen-11 Borealis looking stunning in its new vinyl wrap. The Vinyl Wrap Toronto team worked closely with the Blue Sky Solar Racing team to ensure that the installation was done to a high standard and that the solar-powered vehicle was not negatively affected in any way.
The vinyl wrapping process for the Gen-11 Borealis solar racing vehicle was a successful collaboration between Vinyl Wrap Toronto and Blue Sky Solar Racing. The process involved careful surface preparation, material selection, and attention to detail during the installation process.
Sponsorship and partnership were key factors in the success of this project. With the support of sponsors like AMD, TD Insurance, and Vinyl Wrap Toronto, Blue Sky Solar Racing was able to innovate and push the boundaries of solar-powered racing.
This project highlights the importance of supporting innovative and sustainable initiatives like Blue Sky Solar Racing. By partnering with organizations like this, we can work towards a more sustainable future and inspire the next generation of innovators.
We encourage readers to learn more about Blue Sky Solar Racing and their future projects. With a commitment to sustainability and innovation, this organization is doing important work to advance solar technology and promote sustainable transportation. By supporting initiatives like this, we can all make a positive impact on the world.