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Saturday, October 20, 2007

NASCAR of Solar Power Racing

Picture courtesy of Panasonic World Solar Challenge - Team University of Michigan

Pushing the envelope of solar power teams from around the world will begin competition in the Australian outback today. This isn’t your fathers Buick or Chevy competition but this is the amazing possibilities for solar power advancement in our global community.

If you were thinking that these solar powered cars are puttering around twenty to thirty miles per hour then you need to think again. The winner of the 2005 race, Team Holland’s NUNA III, had an average speed over the 1,863 mile course of 64 MPH. That’s the AVERAGE speed not top speed!

By Dave Mosher
Updated: 8:40 p.m. ET Oct 19, 2007

Tech-savvy teams from across the globe are throttling their sun-fueled engines for the toughest Panasonic World Solar Challenge yet.

The event marks the 20th anniversary of the biannual solar-powered race, and a record number of teams will hurry through 1,863 miles (3,000 kilometers) of the Australian outback this year, organizers said.

The course from Darwin to Adelaide will be the same as in three previous races, but 23 teams this year will compete in a new "Challenge" category. These cars will have 25 percent less solar panel area than the previous 86 square feet (8 square meters) standard.

Granted you won’t see these cars hitting 200 MPH like you would in the average NASCAR race but you will see the possible future of automobile’s. Before you start to think that this is a bunch of corporations tossing millions into one vehicle that could never be built by the average citizen, I’d like to point out to you car number 05 from Leeming Senior High School.

You can see the latest and greatest of the race by visiting Panasonic world solar Challenge.
Or you can follow the University of Michigan Solar Team by clicking on this link.
Participating teams: University of Michigan, Nuon Solar Team, Helios, Leeming Senior High School, Solar Fox, Umicore Solar Team, Heliox Solar Team, FH Bochum Solar Car Team, Apollo, Kormilda College, Adventure, Willeton, Stanford, Houston Solar Car Race Team, HelioDet, Solar Team Twente, University of Waterloo, Aurora Vehicle Association, Solar Fern, Gwawr, Phoenix Solar Car Team , UNSW Solar Racing Team, Esteban, TAFE SA, University of Calgary, Blue Sky Solar Racing, Sunspeed, Ashiya University, Japan Team Sinag, Uni Technology Malaysia, Swisspirit, Techno Energie, University of Malaya , Sunstang, Salesian Polytechnic, Hachinohe Institute of Tech, Aviva Southern Aurora, Queens University, Aurora Vehicle Association , USB Solar, Oregon State University, Uchile-Conecta


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