New Paltz’s Solar Car Team placed 11th out of 16 national teams to compete in the 2012 American Solar Challenge (ASC) Road Race from July 14 to 21. The eight-day race covered a 1,650-mile-plus route passing through eight states that border the Great Lakes. It started in Rochester, N.Y., and ended in St. Paul, Minn.
This was the third time the New Paltz Solar Car Team competed in the ASC with its SUNYHawk Solar Car. In 2009, the team finished sixth out of 11 teams in the Formula Sun Grand Prix track race. In 2010, the team finished seventh out of 22 teams in the track race and eighth out of 18 teams in the ASC cross country race.
In order to compete in the ASC, the team was required to design and fabricate a car that runs completely, and efficiently, on solar electricity only. The frame is light weight but also road worthy. The car was first tested at the Formula Sun Grand Prix, a three-day track race held at the Monticello Motor Club track in Monticello, N.Y. from July 10 to 12. During this event, the New Paltz solar car was “scrutineered” by judges who checked safety features and the road worthiness of the vehicle. Then, a qualifying race was held for teams that have entered the ASC Road Race.
The New Paltz team, under the direction of advisor Mike Otis (Electrical and Computer Engineering), is comprised of six members. They are: Andre Candido ’14 (Electrical Engineering); Kira Cozzolino ’12 (Business Administration); Julian de la Rua ’12 (Electrical Engineering); Colin Morrell ’12 (Physics); Luke Stover ’12 (Adolescence Education: Physics); and Ray Williams ’12 (Physics). The team is also advised by Lee Cabe, a retired physics teacher who has more than 20 years of experience in building championship caliber solar powered vehicles.
For more information about the New Paltz Solar Car Team, visit www.newpaltz.edu/solarcar/.