The University of Michigan won a highly-competitive 2005 North American Solar Challenge (NASC) today, crossing the finish line at 11:27 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time using only the energy of the sun.
Unofficial results show the University of Michigan's car, Momentum, made the trip from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, in a cumulative time of 53 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds, for an average speed of 46.2 mph. Average speed is determined by dividing the distance traveled by the cumulative time, and includes time spent driving through traffic in cities and towns as well as on open highways.
The University of Minnesota placed second in the race with an unofficial total time of 54:11:35. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed third with an unofficial time of 56:34:43. Rankings are preliminary, subject to final review and approval.
The North American Solar Challenge is an educational event in which teams compete to build the best solar-powered cars. This year's event started in Austin July 17 and followed U.S. Route 75 and the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) to Calgary. At 2,500 miles, the NASC is the longest solar car race in the world.
Before arriving at the University of Calgary's Olympic Oval, the solar cars passed through checkpoints in Weatherford, Texas; Broken Arrow, Okla.; Topeka, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Fargo, N.D.; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Brandon, Manitoba; Regina, Saskatchewan; and Medicine Hat, Alberta.
The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Canada, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TransAlta, University of Calgary, CSI Wireless, AMD and Manitoba Transportation and Government Services.
Explore further: Researcher suggests storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day