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UM Solar Racer to compete in Australia Sunday
#1
One of my other brothers, Ted's, son, Doug, is on the University of Michigan's Sun Racer team, which will be competing with their "Continuum" racer against 58 other entries from all over the world in the 3000 km race of solar-powered cars in Australia starting Sunday Oct. 21 (Saturday evening our time).

In past years, the UM entry lost to the Netherlands Nuon team, which had government support and vast funding, plus access to NASA quality solar cells. This year, the UM team also has NASA quality solar cells. Some claims are that they may be 35% efficient in converting sunlight to electrical power. They are able to handle increased heat from concentrators--basically lenses over the solar cells to concentrate more light onto them. I asked Ted if they used fresnel lenses, which need not be positioned perpendicular to the incident angle of sunlight. His reply was that the technology for their concentrators is "top secret," but he sent me a photo of one of the Netherlands teams entry, which clearly is using fresnel lenses and mirrors for concentrators. The photos of the UM solar racer sure looks like it could be using fresnel lenses.

In bench tests, the UM solar racer exceeds expectations in efficiency of conversion of sunlight to electricity, quickness of recharge time, amount of charge left over after tests. They have high hopes of winning it all this time. Now if only those bicycle tires don't blow out too often on those long stretches of pavement in Australia that use sharp pebbles in the pavement concrete.

My brother said he noticed that on the Stanford team's blog, they mentioned a hatred for the UM team. Ted sent a message asking why, and was told that they resented the UM team because they had more funding (easily ten times any other North American entry), plus an elitist attitude engendered by all that money. Of course, other teams with governmental backing (like the Netherlands Nuon team, and possibly Australia's team, have much larger funding than the UM team. But I think we all know the real reason why Stanford hates the UM team--they know UM is going to beat their socks off!

Like Ted said, "Go fast, go smoothe, go blue!"

Here is the link to the UM solar racer blog, which has many pictures of their solar racer, and others:
http://www.engin.umich.edu/solarcar/blog/
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Messages In This Thread
UM Solar Racer to compete in Australia Sunday - by Ron Lambert - 10-19-2007, 06:46 PM
[No subject] - by quadrat - 10-20-2007, 10:59 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-20-2007, 04:05 PM
[No subject] - by John L - 10-20-2007, 05:02 PM
[No subject] - by quadrat - 10-21-2007, 02:06 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-21-2007, 05:04 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-22-2007, 02:00 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-23-2007, 05:15 PM
[No subject] - by John L - 10-23-2007, 05:20 PM
[No subject] - by quadrat - 10-24-2007, 02:02 AM
[No subject] - by John L - 10-24-2007, 02:08 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-24-2007, 03:36 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-25-2007, 01:16 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-25-2007, 01:57 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-25-2007, 02:22 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-26-2007, 01:33 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-26-2007, 12:00 PM
[No subject] - by John L - 10-26-2007, 12:06 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-26-2007, 04:59 PM
[No subject] - by quadrat - 10-27-2007, 04:01 AM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-27-2007, 01:55 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-28-2007, 02:26 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-28-2007, 06:34 PM
[No subject] - by Ron Lambert - 10-31-2007, 12:30 PM

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