Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

4-8-05

Contacts:

Justin Steinlage, Team PrISUm, (515) 290-9293

Team PrISUm garage (students are almost always there),
(515) 294-3723

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917

Team PrISUm to unveil latest solar race car April 16

AMES, Iowa -- It's long and low. It's black with purple and blue racing flames painted on its aerodynamic wheel covers. Meet Fusion, the latest solar race car designed and built by Iowa State University students.

The new $350,000 car will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 16, in the atrium of the Molecular Biology Building on the Iowa State campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Justin Steinlage, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Lucas, Iowa, and the director of the solar car project, said he expects Fusion to be a competitive racer this summer. He said this car is lighter than past Iowa State cars. Its solar cells are more efficient. And students are planning to put it through more testing.

The team's big test will be the North American Solar Challenge, a 2,500-mile race from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The racing begins July 17 and ends July 27. Organizers said the race is expected to take the solar cars into Iowa between Sioux City and Sioux Falls, S.D., beginning the evening of July 19 until about noon on July 21.

There's still plenty to do to get the car ready for racing. Students need to install 629 solar cells to the top of the car, Steinlage said. They also need to ultrasonically weld the new battery pack together. But Steinlage is feeling good about the project.

"The team has worked together really well," he said. "Things have come together. And sponsors have come through when we've needed the money the most."

Jim Hill, a University Professor of chemical engineering and an adviser to the solar car team, said Team PrISUm is making great progress with the Fusion car.

"They're way ahead of where they were for the last couple of cars," he said. "And they have a good design. I'm looking forward to a good competition."

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Quick look

Iowa State University students will unveil their latest solar car at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 16, in the atrium of the Molecular Biology Building on the Iowa State campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Quote

"They're way ahead of where they were for the last couple of cars. And they have a good design. I'm looking forward to a good competition."

Jim Hill, a University Professor of chemical engineering and an adviser to Iowa State's solar car team