June 26, 2007
Solar-powered drag car sets new word record
Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Click image to enlarge
Wenatchee, Washington – A vehicle powered solely by solar panels won the third annual Solar Drag Race in Wenatchee, Washington on June 23, setting a new world record of 29.5 seconds for the quarter-kilometre strip.
The vehicle, entered by South Whidbey High School, hit a top speed of 40 km/h in the race. Team Photon Phantom, sponsored by Brooks Solar of Chelan, came second and covered the strip in 43 seconds. Central Washington University, the only college entry, finished in 104 seconds, while middle-school students from Republic finished in 69 seconds. Participating vehicles can use only solar panels for power, and may not use batteries or pre-charged devices.
As winners of their divisions, the Central Washington and Republic teams each received US$1,000 scholarships, provided by REC Silicon. The company produces purified silicon, a key component of solar cells. The Solar Drag Race takes place each year on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice.