Solar powered cars pass the pumps heading west

With solar panels on top, this car built by All Saints Episcopal School students can travel up to 35 mph.
With solar panels on top, this car built by All Saints Episcopal School students can travel up to 35 mph.

by Ben Posey

Fourteen solar powered cars have left from Fort Worth and are now making an 8-day trek across the western half of the United States ending in Los Angeles, California as part of the 2013 Winston Solar Challenge. 

This year, All Saints Episcopal School, located on the west side of Fort Worth, has built their very first solar powered car.

“This is our first year to enter a car,” said team advisor Dr. Lyle Crossley.

Dr. Lyle Crossley and his team of student engineers.
Dr. Lyle Crossley and his team of student engineers.

The vehicle, named Apollo’s Chariot, was only a thought process by some 8th graders back in 2011, according to co-advisor Joe Morris. In 2012 the team, as many as nineteen at one time, began the design and building phase. Finally on June 8 all the parts of the car were in place and running.

Then, just a week before the beginning of the contest at Texas Motor Speedway, the group had to change out their main engine due to lack of power.

A twelve-member team plus advisors are making the cross-country trip. Ten of the students will be able to drive on a rotation basis. During the trip each car is driven for a distance, then it is loaded onto a trailer and transported to the next driving point. The car averages 25-30 m.p.h. with a top speed of 35 m.p.h.

The event started in 1993 as a high school extra curricular program designed to motivate students in science, engineering, and alternative energy.

For more information about the Winston Solar Challenge, visit http://www.grizzlydetail.com

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