Solar Powered Cars
In the 1990ís, emissions laws were being enforced throughout the United States. Many colleges and universities began looking at the possibility of solar powered cars. The finding were that the solar collectors for the cars to run were too large to be put into the vehicles. Development continues on the solar collections to make it possible. For those skeptical, donít be surprised if it doesnít all come together in the near future.
There are many organizations throughout the world working on doing just that.
Students are aware that using fossil fuels for cars has a negative impact on the environment. Students investigate the amount of pollution a car creates. Students have the opportunity to work together with their research and other students to investigate how to use solar energy for cars. They research the challenges involved and work to find solutions.
For the past 20 years, Panasonic has offered the Panasonic World Solar Challenge. More than three hundred teams from around the world have brought their car to the event.
Many find developing solar powered cars to be the challenge of a lifetime. They continue to find ways to get one step closer to being successful. The next Panasonic event takes place in October of 2007.
The Winston Solar Car Team began an education program in 1993. They provide learning materials, on-site visits, and workshops for high schools across the country. The program is designed to motivate students in the areas of science, engineering, and technology.
The program consists of a two year education program.
At the end of the program students have the opportunity to display their work.
The first Winston Solar Car Challenge took place in 1995. Ninety schools participated in the program with nine schools building cars to race. The 1997 challenge involved three hundred and fifty schools in five countries. Eight cars qualified to run in a six hundred mile race from Dallas, Texas to San Antonio, Texas. As the participants continue to grow, so does the challenge.
The 1999 race was a sixteen hundred mile race. In 2002 Dell Computers became a sponsor of the event.
Solar powered cars still have many bugs to work out including how to keep them operating on a daily basis, day or night.
New designs continue to emerge, and the challenge of solving this mystery continues to grow around the world. Regardless of who successfully completes the concept of solar powered cars, it will offer a safe alternative to using fossil fuels, and that will be a benefit to each of us.