The 2010 American Solar Challenge
The 2010 American Solar Challenge is a competition to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time/distance rally event. A Grant was awarded to SUNY New Paltz Electrical and Computer Engineering Department by The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC), via funding appropriated by Congressman Maurice Hinchey, giving students an opportunity to build a car and to participate in The 2010 American Solar Challenge.
Out of 22 teams (19 American teams and three international teams which were from Canada, Germany and Taiwan) registered but only 17 completed scruitineering (official term for checking out every aspect of the solar car, driver, and team). The schedule was for a three-day track race in Cresson, TX (Formula Sun Grand Prix) and a 1200 mile nine-day road race (American Solar Challenge) from Broken Arrow, OK, to Naperville, IL.
GET READY (in New Paltz, NY)
It started during the winter months with the welding of the aluminum frame by three Ulster County Votech students: Will Dietz, Joey Ridgeway, and Sean Landolfa. Then came the molding of the car, soldering, wiring of the electronics, painting and lettering were all in the preparation.
As in every project – there’s always that last minute rush.
If you walked into the Solar Car Shop the day they were leaving you would witness the team’s last minute once-over of putting in the last bolt, adjusting the springs, moving the steering box, putting the mold on the car, and wolfing down a slice of pizza in between. Filled with excitement, adrenalin pumping, perspiration running down their faces – they are now finally ready to begin their adventure.
GET SET (in Cresson, TX)
2010 Specialty Awards
In addition to the traditional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards, seven awards were given for technical design and to recognize areas that support the mission of the Innovators Educational Foundation and the American Solar Challenge. The SUNY New Paltz Team received the Teamwork Award, along with a ‘gag gift’ of a compass. The compass was given to them for being lost three times in one city.
Enduring heat, rain, wind, hunger, sleepless nights, and fire ants - The SUNy Hawk finished 8th.
To the students for the experience they received, the superb teamwork they demonstrated and for the lessons they learned; to Michael Otis, Electrical Engineering Professor and Supervisor of the Solar Car Team, who had the engineering loading dock turned into a shop for the solar car; for all his hard work in making everything possible for the students to have this opportunity to participate in The 2010 American Solar Challenge; and to MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Team for providing us with a superior mold that gave us an edge over the competition in the aerodynamics of our vehicle, we give a BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE and a very special THANK YOU.