Corey Barber, 4th-year student. Reaching is Chris Early, 3rd-year
student and on the radio is Brian Nicosia, the electrical team
leader. (Photos by Stephanie Gross.)
Engineering Students Capture Solar Energy For Car Race, Airship
Demonstration On June 20
On Sunday, June 20, about 40 custom-built, solar-powered
cars rolled into Charlottesville as part of the Sunrayce,
a national, 10-day competition among college engineering
students seeking to harness renewable energy from
University's team is the only Virginia team registered to compete,
after qualifying last week. Daniel Taliaferro, president of the
12-member U.Va. team, will be driving
U.Va.'s No. 87, "The Revolution," powered by a $40,000 battery pack
identical to the one used by General Motors in its Impact, a solar-powered
car that has been test marketed in California.
cars pulled into University Hall's north parking lot between 2 and
3 p.m. on Sunday. At the same time, an airship -- the 20-meter-long,
partially solar-powered "Aztec" designed and built by another team
of U.Va. engineering students -- soared overhead.
Aztec airship, supported by numerous corporate sponsors and a family
is operated by remote controls designed by U.Va. students. On-board
computers operate a propulsion system that uses three motors, one
mounted on the tail and two on the sides.
is a showcase for the capabilities of solar-powered vehicles," said
Ghazali, president of the airship project team. The airship also
will fly over Raleigh, as the Sunrayce cars reach that destination
on Monday, June 21.
is a biennial, long-distance race featuring college and university
teams from across North America. The teams design, build and drive
cars powered solely by electricity generated from solar panels.
Sunrayce 99 is the fifth solar-vehicle race staged by three sponsors,
the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and EDS, a provider
of management consulting, electronic business solutions, and systems
and technology expertise.
race began June 20, at 9 a.m. in Washington, D.C, and ends June
29, at Epcot,
at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Competitors will
follow a five-state route over highways and country roads, pausing
for midday pit stops or overnight stays in the following locations:
in Virginia, Charlottesville and Keysville;
in North Carolina, Raleigh, Rockingham and Charlotte;
in South Carolina, Spartanburg and Clemson;
in Georgia, Gainesville, Atlanta, Madison, Macon and Sylvester;
in Florida, Tallahassee, Lake City, Ocala and Orlando
team with the lowest cumulative time over the 10-day race wins the
event. Awards include cash prizes for the top three teams as well
as trophies and scholastic achievement awards for technical innovation,
engineering excellence, artistic talents, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
and the Department of Energy created the biennial race in 1990 to
promote educational excellence in mathematics, science and engineering.
Student teams blend technical and scientific expertise across a
range of disciplines including computer-aided design, computational
fluid dynamics tools, solar cell applications and advanced construction
methods and materials.
Department of Energy provides Sunrayce teams with extensive technical
assistance and offers testing of their solar arrays. GM provides
a test track for qualifying events and the race, and coordinates
public outreach during the competition. EDS makes aerodynamic performance
analysis and photo-realistic image design consulting services available
to the collegiate teams. During the race, EDS' timing and scoring
systems provide continuous results.
it takes a student team about two years to raise the necessary funds
-- $120,000 to $200,000 - to compete in this race, said Taliaferro.
But this team managed to raise enough money -- $85,000 - to design
and build the car in less than 10 months.
equipment is the best money can buy," Taliaferro said, acknowledging
financial backing from alumni, aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin,
and Booz·Allen & Hamilton, a global management and technology
more information about U.Va.'s entry in Sunrayce, contact Daniel
Taliaferro in Charlottesville on the afternoon of June 20 at the
University Hall parking lot. For more information on the airship,
call Huzaini Ghazali, at the Aztec project lab at (804) 924-4425
or at (804) 984-3655; or write him by email at email@example.com;
or call Audra Burchfield at (804) 924-4425 or write her by email
at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information before and during the solar-car
race, including photos and daily team standings, visit the Sunrayce
Fariss Samarrai, (804) 924-3778.