PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest

UBC solar-powered race car - UBC Solar

The Team

UBC Solar is a student engineering design team at the University of British Columbia focused on designing, building, and racing solar-powered vehicles. Our team is comprised of over 20 undergraduate students from various faculties including Engineering, Science, Business, and Arts. In addition to building solar cars, we put an emphasis on professional development, smart design, and innovative thinking. While building the technology of the future, we need to ensure that we can produce the engineers of the future to support it.

Our team is currently preparing to race in the 2020 edition of the American Solar Challenge (ASC): a 2800km road race across the public highways of North America.

The Cars

Our newest solar car's, aptly named Daybreak, was started at the beginning of 2017. After our previous car, Raven, was not able to make it to the competition, our team decided to start fresh. Daybreak features a 5kWh Li-ion battery, 3.5kWh in-hub NGM motor, and a 1kW solar array to provide continuous driving on those sunny summer days. Weighing in at 240kg, Daybreak will carry our team to the finish line of ASC2020 and usher in a new era of UBC Solar.

With Daybreak nearly completed, we have also started the design phase of our third edition solar car. Taking the lessons we have learned from Daybreak's cycle, our new V3 solar car will be held to higher standards than ever before. The car is planned to feature an entirely new chassis, aerobody, and in-house Battery Management System (BMS).

The Boards

Though Daybreak is nearly complete, it still has a few missing or improvable components. Those including our three primary PCBs:


The Main Control Board, or MCB, is responsible for our driver interface. The board includes subcircuits for lighting control, wireless data transmission, pedal and steering wheel readings, and on-board data logging.

The Dashboard

Accompanying the MCB is our dashboard. The dashboard provides a clean, visible display for the driver. This includes warning/fault lights, manual switches for vehicle control, and a real-time LCD display for providing critical information such as speed, current, vehicle temperature, etc.


The final board on Daybreak is named the Elithion Control Unit, or ECU. The ECU is a sub-component of our greater Battery Management System, implemented to provide reliable control of our car's high-voltage power distribution. The ECU is responsible for battery contactor/relay control, vehicle startup, and emergency shutoff.

Words to PCBWay

Pushing the world towards clean energy solutions is no easy task. The support of PCBWay on our current projects will bring us one large step closer to Daybreak's completion, as well as a sustainable future. These boards will also provide a more reliable foundation for our early V3 solar car designs, in addition to helping our new members understand the fundamentals of PCB design. In return, we hope to show our appreciation in any way possible. It is the generosity of our sponsors that keep our goals moving forward, and we hope to do the same for them!

For more information about UBC Solar, be sure to check us out on our social media @ubcsolar, or our website ubcsolar.com.

Thank you!

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524 Projects Sponsored
Aug 20,2019
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