Shell Eco-Marathon will take place April 14-17 in Houston
Americas edition of "Shell Eco-marathon," a competition for high school and
college student teams from around the globe to design, build and test energy
efficient vehicles, will take place April 14-17 in Houston. One of the most talked about entries is the Purdue University
solar car, designed and built by students.
the last three years, the Purdue Solar Racing Team has won the marathon's
solar-powered car category with their car, "Pulsar." With achievements such as 4,913 miles per
gallon, the team has already broken the record for this event. This year, however, the team will enter a new
car, "Celeritas," which they announced April 1 during a banquet.
The Purdue Solar Racing Team has entered their "Pulsar" solar vehicle for the past 3 years and won
is a single-seat vehicle with a cruising speed of 30-40 mph and a top speed of
around 60 mph. Made primarily of a
lightweight material of carbon-fiber sheets sandwiched around a honeycomb
center for strength, the vehicle weighs a mere 275 pounds approximately. Over 200 photovoltaic cells charge 48 lithium
iron phosphate batteries to power a motor that drives one of the rear wheels
using sunlight converted into electricity.
The Purdue Solar Racing Team's 2011 Eco-marathon Entry: Celeritas
Celeritas in the solar "urban concept" category, the team will now compete in a
category said to be more challenging than the category in which the team has
competed during previous years. According to
Ted Pesyna, president of Purdue Solar Racing, this category is geared toward vehicles
designed specifically for practical use on public roads and highways.
the team's first four-wheel car in recent years and the first urban concept
vehicle," said Pesyna. "We've always
focused on making vehicles that are optimized for efficiency--very small, slim
vehicles that tend to look more like an airfoil than a conventional
vehicle. Celeritas is different than any
car we've ever designed. Our focus is
not only on maximizing efficiency but also usability and aesthetics. It's a vehicle the consumer could see
Check out the marathon's website during and after the
event to see the outcomes: Shell Eco-Marathon