The 2010 National Solar Tour, organized by the American Solar Energy Society, is Saturday, Oct. 2.
Mississippi is getting revved up for its Second Annual Down on the Farm Solar Tour, which features solar powered chicken houses, grid-tied solar carports equipped to charge the new Nissan LEAFs that will be rolling off Tennessee assembly lines in 2011 and the celebrated solar race car team from Choctaw Central High School, first place winners of the recent Hunt-Winston Solar Car Challenge.
Now in its 15th year, the Hunt-Winston Solar Car Challenge is an eight-day, 866-mile run from Dallas's Texas Motor Speedway to Boulder, Colorado, home of National Solar Tour presenter the American Solar Energy Society.
Choctaw Central High School's Tushka Hashi III the aptly named Sun Warrior was the fastest in the competition.
Built and driven by an 11-student team from Choctaw Central High School, the vehicle qualified for the Advanced Division.
It covering a full 853 miles at an average speed of 34.7 mph.
Their speed was 9.5% faster and drove the team 3% farther than the second-fastest car, the Open Division entry Sundancer from Houston High School (also of Mississippi).
As an Advanced Division vehicle, the Tushka Hashi III was equipped with advanced batteries and a university-designed body. The heaviest car in the race, it also boasted the most powerful PV array -- roughly 1.75 kW of Sunpower A-300 cells feeding a lithium-ion battery pack with a 5 kWh (kilowatt hour) capacity and a 6-horse power (4.5 kW) motor.
The winning team of students crafted the sleek body top with the help of a mold donated by the Purdue University solar racing team.
The team also earned the Hunt Award for most impressive engineering: 4.5 kilowatts of Wow!
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