Designing a solar powered boat

Designing a solar powered boat

Project Date
2016 to present






Project Topics

Funding Sources


We designed and built a solar-powered canoe to race in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) annual Solar Regatta Competition at Rancho Seco Recreational Area on May 4, 2019. This was the third year SSU competed in this race. Improvements from last year’s boat include a new steering mechanism and control panel, which contains the power switch, a safety kill switch, and a mechanism to control the boat speed. The steering mechanism contains a rope connected to a steering wheel and the motor through a pulley system. We modified wiring of the kill switch from last year’s design of a foot press, to be attached to the driver’s lifejacket. The day of the event we were judged on Slalom, Sprint, and Endurance races against other universities. This project is intended to educate society on the importance of using sustainable energy, as well as to give students a wonderful - and fun - learning opportunity. As part of the Women In Tech initiative, it also allows women majoring in computer science, engineering, and physics an opportunity to work on a real world project and  while learning team building, communication, and technical skills as part of a co-ed team.


Project Results
Title Format Download Students
"Women in Technology Solar Powered Boat" poster Karli Martin, Anthony Aboumrad, Jessica Mellor, Alexander Sneed, Thomas Swanson, Anna Banzer, Natalie Valle Medina, Rania Saba