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The BEAM Bestiary is a BEAM Reference Library site.

Solar powered drag racers

Solarrollers are basically just simple solar powered drag racers. These are powered by a single solar engine, and have a single motor driving one or more wheels.

A number of different configurations are out there -- differing in how the motor output is coupled to the ground, number and size of wheels, and frame designs.

Solarrollers can be built for simple entertainment, but really got their start from competitions. The idea is to race two of these beasties against each other down a 1 meter course (no drag 'chute required!). Official rules are here.


There are an essentially infinite number of possible solarroller designs. Just to get your thought process started, here are a few "starter" configurations:


"Direct drive" configuration

Here, you glue (or build) a wheel onto the motor drive shaft, and have this wheel provide the pulling power to the ground. Obviously, you can play around with the sizes, numbers, and spacing of the drive and idler wheels.

Meanwhile, solarroller circuits are discussed over in the circuits library.

For more information...

The "original" Mark Tilden solarroller is described here.

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Page author: Eric Seale
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