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Thursday, September 22, 2005

World Solar Challenge

Fresh off their victory in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge, the University of Michigan's solar car team is ready to take on the world in Australia, starting this Sunday. The 2005 World Solar Challenge starts September 25 in Darwin, Australia, traversing the island continent from north to south, reaching Adelaide on October 2.

Those of you who read my blog back in July know you can expect way too many updates as the race progresses. I talked to a member of the team, unfortunately left behind in Ann Arbor, who told me that the real race is for second place. One of the Dutch teams (I think) apparently has some very high-efficiency (and expensive) solar panels giving it about 700 watts more power than the UM car or any other car in the race.

Meanwhile, the university is involved in another solar competition. The Michigan Solar House, aka MiSo, is about to be hauled down to Washington, DC for a competition on the Mall in October. The house features all sorts of active and passive solar elements to provide electricity, heating and cooling, and hot water. MiSo will be one of 18 entries on display from October 7-11 and 13-16 in the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon. The Decathlon winner will be announced October 14.

Go Blue! Go Blue!