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Oct 14, 2011

Exa PowerFLOW Reduces Aerodynamic Drag by 30% on America's #1 Solar Car

Exa® Corporation, a global innovator of fluids simulation solutions for product engineering announced that America’s #1 solar car, the University of Michigan Quantum, has been dramatically optimized with Exa PowerFLOW® and is prepared for the World Solar Car Challenge race in Australia this month. Using Exa’s PowerFLOW software, engineers achieved a 30% drag reduction compared to the previous car, resulting in an overall drag value below 0.1.

In order to design the most efficient solar car, the team chose Exa’s PowerFLOW software to analyze and optimize the aerodynamics on this new, lighter vehicle to ensure the drag values reached ultra aerodynamic levels (less than .1). "Our work with Exa has opened a new chapter in the processes by which the aerodynamics of the vehicle are developed. By collaborating with Exa and using their suite of simulation tools, Quantum will be the most aerodynamic solar vehicle in the US, and potentially the world,” remarked Chris Hilger, Business Director for team.

“We work each day helping global leaders find additional efficiency in their vehicles with our PowerFLOW software suite,” commented Dr. Brad Duncan, Director of Aerodynamics for Exa. “It is refreshing to see how these student engineers, who already understand the capabilities PowerFLOW affords them, virtually optimized and tested this highly efficient vehicle to achieve an unprecedented 30% improvement. This team has already won six national championships, I see nothing to prevent them from winning the World Championship.” The University of Michigan team is counting on its new, 200-pound lighter car with improved aerodynamics to bring home global recognition for their efforts with the win in Australia this month.