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NC State Solar Car Team

We are SolarPack, NC State’s first solar car racing team. Our goal is to show the world that solar energy can be used to power a car. We’re building a multi-occupant vehicle which is much more involved than the traditional challenger class of solar racing. Even experienced solar racing teams shy away from attempting the challenge. We’re building a car that no one has seen the likes of before.

solarcar
Vehicle conceptual render above was created by Design Team Leader, Jecori Owens-Shuler

This summer, we attended our first solar car race, the Formula Sun Grand Prix. Our team accomplished our greatest goal of learning what it means to be a solar car team. We ran into setbacks the day we arrived for the race but we overcame those difficulties and we were able to succeed on the last day of the race. During our drive to Austin, Texas, our car suffered severe structural damage where our rear suspension had completely failed. We persevered on and over the course of the next three days, we repaired the damage and the car was able to roll on its own accord. We then moved onto making the car turn on and for the rest of the week we spent hours wiring the car up and troubleshooting. After countless hours, we were able to make the motor spin just minutes before the end of the last race day. This was the highlight of our race as this was the very first time we were able to spin the motor using the car’s main battery pack.

Through our difficulties, we were able to learn how to make a solar car, network and work with other teams, and meet solar car racing alumni. With those actions, we were able to stand out to the race officials to be the furthest any first-cycle team has come in the history of solar car racing.

For the coming years, SolarPack will continue its mission: to promote the advent of energy efficient vehicles and prove that a solar car can be effective, attractive and practical. We will be completing the current car to race in the Formula Sun Grand Prix and the American Solar Challenge for 2020. We will also be using the lessons we learned from our past mistakes and the knowledge we have gained from our first race to build our second solar car. In order to achieve this goal, we are in the process of acquiring more funding through sponsorships and grants. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!

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