Dallas to Calgary on zero gallons of gas

Posted by
On June 24, 2008

A group of students from Missouri University
of Science and Technology is preparing to go on a 2,500-mile road trip to
Canada, but they’re not too worried about the price of

Missouri S&T students have been designing,
building and racing solar-powered cars since 1993. The university has won two
national championships in solar car racing, in 1999 and 2003, and has entered
competitions around the

This year, Missouri S&T will race its new
car, Solar Miner VI, from Texas to Alberta, Canada. Approximately 25 teams are
entered in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, which starts in Plano,
Texas, on July 13 and finishes in Calgary on July

The teams will go as fast as they can (within
the speed limit) and as far as they can during the day. At 6 p.m., they will be
required to stop and set up camp for the night. However, there are four “stage
stops” where all of the teams will stop for a day or two and recharge their
batteries (literally and

Stage stops are scheduled for Neosho, Mo.,
July 13-15; Sioux Falls, S.D., July 16-18; Winnipeg, Manitoba (July 19-20); and
Medicine Hat, Alberta (July 21-22). Teams that arrive at a stage stop early
will have extra time to rest. The team that makes it to Calgary fastest

The removable body of Solar Miner VI is made
out of foam and Kevlar. An array of solar cells is attached to the body. Energy
from the sun is used to power the car’s battery. In order to reach highway
speeds, the car needs about as much energy as it takes to blow dry your hair in
the morning.         

Solar Miner VI might not look like a typical
car, but it has many of the same features, including brake lights and blinkers.
And, for the first time, Missouri S&T’s 2008 car has a steering wheel. In
past years, the cars were driven by manipulating a pulley

Several students will be used as drivers
during the race. They look out of a small windshield canopy and use a camera
for rear viewing. The car has been extensively engineered by the students,
which means that, in addition to high-tech gear, lots of duct tape has been

Each team has a chase vehicle that follows for
the duration of the race. More information about the 2008 North American Solar
Challenge is available at: http://www.americansolarchallenge.org//

Officers for the 2008 Missouri S&T Solar
Car Team

– Caleb Bredlow, a junior in aerospace
engineering from Ravenwood, Mo.

– John P. Clay, a senior in chemical
engineering from St. Charles, Mo.

– Cody Massar, a senior in engineering
management from St. Louis

– Chris Pieper, a senior in computer
engineering from Williamsburg, Iowa

– Nathan Steckel, a senior in mechanical
engineering from Washington, Mo.

– Daniel Welty, a senior in computer
engineering from Florissant, Mo.

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Posted by

On June 24, 2008. Posted in News