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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sun Power!

After church we walked uptown and took a look at a visiting celebrity. Here it comes.

U of M solar car

We knew it was coming to town because it made the front page of the paper yesterday. What fun! The leader of the team is a girl from Ludington. But what is the team?

U of M solar car
It's the Sun 02 Team. Huh?

U of M solar car
This is the University of Michigan Solar Car Team and their 2010 car. It won the American Solar Challenge race last year and came in third in the World Solar Challenge race in Australia.

This car weighs a bit over 500 pounds (including the battery), and the 2011 car weighs just over 300 pounds, so the team is hopeful of an even better finish in the World Challenge this fall. The top speed is about 105 mph, and an average race speed is 65 mph. Each car has a whole support team with vehicles that go ahead (to make sure there aren't things like dead animals in the road, and vehicles behind to analyze computer data and tell the driver if he/she is driving efficiently, which is more than just solar efficiency. The efficiency of the solar cells is up to 28%- a big improvement from early solar technology.

The 2011 car looks sleeker- the team was handing out postcard pictures. You can click to see a picture of the Quantum

So now you know that I like engineering things too.

See University of Michigan Solar Car


Don't unplug your hub said...

I need one of these. The price of fuel here in the UK is horrendous.

vanilla said...

That is tres cool, but it looks to me as though at 500# and 105 mph the front end would go airborne. Oh, engineering students: problem solved.

Secondary Roads said...

That is really neat! Not the vehicle for use on our dirt road, but still neat.

betchai said...

it's really cool to have solar powered car which hopefully can also be introduced in the market so that we don't have to rely so much on oil.

Ann said...

very cool. I have to wonder how practical something like that would be around here in the winter

spinninglovelydays said...

That's so cool! I'd like one. Can they make a version with 3 rows? :D

Sharkbytes said...

John- I don't think solar cars are ready for mainstream yet, but all those engineering students are working toward those kinds of goals. Besides you have to be under 5'6" to fit in the cockpit!

vanilla- no kidding- I bet they solved that problem really early in the overall design phase.

Chuck- no, no dirt roads for this one.

betchai- it will be a while before solar can propel a car of a couple tons at acceptable speeds.

Ann- at this point it's about research and prototypes

Ivy- I think the family version is a way into the future!

Ferd said...

Cool! I mean... hot! I mean... you know what I mean!

I have a warm spot in my heart for the U of M. I sent them a lot of money for four years when my daughter went to school there! Great school!

Sharkbytes said...

Ferd- They have some good programs.

RNSANE said...

While the concept of solar power for cars is great, I think I would be claustrophobic in that. It kind of reminds me of those capsule Japanese hotels!

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