- Published on Oct 15, 2007
- Contact Nicole Casal Moore
Continuum, the name they?ve given to this car, is outfitted with U-shaped mirrors that intensify the sunlight, squeezing more energy out of every ray.
"We're using the best solar technology on the face of the planet," said Brian Ignaut, race manager and a senior engineering major.
The team's faculty adviser concurs.
"This is the first time this technology has been applied to a vehicle and it's truly a breakthrough. It has the potential to revolutionize solar car technology," said Robert Culver, faculty advisor and industry co-director of the U-M Tauber Institute for Global Operations.
The "solar concentrator system" was designed and built by students. It's the team's answer to new rules by race officials seeking to slow the event by limiting the size of the solar array. The cars usually average between 50 and 60 mph during the race, Ignaut said, but they?re capable of closing in on 90 mph.
Most of Continuum is covered with regular solar cells that look like rows of photograph negatives. But the section behind the driver?s seat is lined with