One of the first projects of the club was to make a solar powered cart. We came of with the idea as a low-cost way to help provide power in areas where there is none. This could include poor rural communities, field research or disaster areas.
I was inspired by shade structures commonly employed in agriculture to make the solar cart even more multipurpose, to not only provide electricity, but also to provide shade and a place to store materials.
Before we began the build process, we had to research all the parts that we would need to build the final design. The challenging part was to figure out a way to easily adjust the panels to the ideal angle to capture the most sun as possible. After lots of debating, and some testing, we stuck to a central pulley system with a triangular rope to better support the panel.
The most important concept I learned through this project was not engineering related at all - it was how to organize a team to work through a project as efficiently as possible, while playing to everybody's strengths.