Iowa State University
INDEX A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

9-11-08

Sol Invictus, Iowa State's solar race car.

Sol Invictus, Iowa State's student-designed and student-built race car, finished eighth in the North American Solar Challenge. Team PrISUm photo.

Contacts:

Erin Kelly, PrISUm Solar Car Team, (507) 272-0103, erkelly4572@gmail.com

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, mkrapfl@iastate.edu

Team PrISUm to show off car that raced 2,400 miles on sun power

AMES, Iowa -- The students of Team PrISUm were so busy building their solar car this summer they never had a chance to show it off before racing 2,400 miles across the continent in the North American Solar Challenge.

They're going to fix that with a reception from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the team's garage on the south side of Iowa State University's Sweeney Hall. The team's car, Sol Invictus, will be on display, there will be garage tours and there will be refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

The team finished the race from Plano, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 91 hours and 12 minutes. That was good enough for eighth place overall in the contest for student-designed and student-built cars.

The race was full of challenges for the Iowa State team: Late design changes by race organizers delayed design and construction right up until the race. Electrical problems triggered the car's battery protection system, killing the motor and making qualifying a challenge. A brake problem during the race caused a minor accident along the route. And there were, of course, the challenges of cloud cover during the 10-day race.

But, the students solved the problems and drove across the finish line on July 22.

The performance earned the team the "Energizer Bunny" award from race observers. The team also won the challenge's award for best car aesthetics.

"I think it's great that we got the car done in that last week before the race," said Erin Kelly, the current team's assistant project director, one of the drivers of Sol Invictus and a chemical engineering major from Rochester, Minn. "There was a lot of work and not much sleep."

And certainly no time to put the team's $400,000, 1,400-watt solar race car on display for sponsors, friends and the public.

"This reception," Kelly said, "will be what our unveiling would have been."

-30-

Quick look

Team PrISUm is inviting sponsors, friends and the public to its garage from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, to show off Sol Invictus, the team's $400,000, 1,400-watt solar race car. The garage is located on the south side of Iowa State University's Sweeney Hall.

Quote

"This reception will be what our unveiling would have been."

Erin Kelly, Team PrISUm's assistant project director, one of the drivers of Sol Invictus and a chemical engineering major from Rochester, Minn.

Team PrISUm

  • Evan Adkins, sophomore, computer engineering
  • Andrew Carson, senior, materials science and engineering
  • Edward Cramer, senior, electrical engineering
  • Scott Elliott, senior, electrical engineering
  • Wade Johanns, senior, aerospace engineering
  • Sonia Jose, sophomore, mechanical engineering
  • Nathaniel Kaiser, sophomore, mechanical engineering
  • Erin Kelly, junior, chemical engineering
  • Sarah Kelly, senior, mechanical engineering
  • Matt Martin, senior, aerospace engineering
  • Michael Martz, senior, political science
  • Timothy Morgan, junior, mechanical engineering
  • Michael Steffen, sophomore, electrical engineering
  • Ron Nelson, professor of mechanical engineering, faculty adviser