Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

7-19-08

Contacts:

Erin Kelly, PrISUm Solar Car Team, (507) 272-0103 Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

Iowa State solar car rolls on despite clouds

AMES, Iowa -- Sol Invictus, Iowa State University's solar race car reached the Fargo, N.D., checkpoint on Friday evening, day five of the 2,400-mile North American Solar Challenge. The Iowa State car started off in Sioux Falls, S.D., covering 255 miles despite cloudy skies.

Iowa State has moved up to 9th place in the race standings. Six American teams rank in the top 10.

Sol Invictus continued to drive between 35 and 40 mph, charging batteries to conserve power for Saturday's longer 270-mile trek to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Weather forecasts predict heavy cloud cover the entire day, said Erin Kelly, Team PrISUm member and a Sol Invictus driver.

"A couple of other cars got to Fargo with no battery power left," Kelly said. "Without sun tomorrow, they might have to be trailered to Winnipeg, and receive big penalties added to their overall time."

Kelly said Sol Invictus was running well, and had experienced no major mechanical or electrical failures. The 1,400-watt solar array was operating at about 1,300 watts, she said.

"We're trying to keep the car moving and doing the best we can, improving a little every day," she said.

Although 25 teams registered for the race, only 13 have qualified and made it this far in the competition. The North American Solar Challenge started July 13 in Plano, Texas, and ends July 22 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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Day 5

Sol Invictus, Iowa State University's solar race car reached the Fargo, N.D., Friday evening, day five of the 2,400-mile North American Solar Challenge. The car covered 255 miles despite cloudy skies. Iowa State is 9th in the race standings.

Quote

"We're trying to keep the car moving and doing the best we can, improving a little every day."

Erin Kelly
Team PrISUm

Race standings

See where ISU ranks.

PrISUm web site

Check the PrISUm site for more about the race and car.

Video