From a press release:
The University of Northern Iowa’s solar/electric boat team will travel to Lake Fayetteville in Arkansas for the annual Solar Splash electric boat competition.
The five-day competition begins June 9 and concludes June 13.
Solar Splash, hosted this year by the University of Arkansas, is the World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar/Electric Boating. The Solar Panthers will compete against 13 other teams from the U.S., Mexico and United Kingdom. According to Reg Pecen, UNI associate professor of industrial technology and team adviser, points are earned in seven categories, including technical inspections, engineering design visual displays, sprint, endurance, workmanship and on-the-water competitions.
Coming home with an overall third-place win last year, the team is optimistic that this year’s design improvements will help them beat their previous record and capture the national championship title. Hannah Loan, a senior electrical engineering technology (EET) major from Lone Tree and team leader, said this year’s project includes several improvements to help the team’s performance at the competition.
Most of the improvements for the solar boat design focused on the mechanical and electrical systems. According to Loan, the team’s main focus for the mechanical modifications was the propeller design, but the team also worked on improving the maneuverability of the eBoat’s rudder and skeg.
Modifications made to the electrical system focused on the control circuit, telemetry system enhancement, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and the efficiency of electrical connections.
“These advancements still allow us to keep weight and system performance in mind while offering a reliable, more complete designed solar boat for the 2010 Solar Splash competition,” said Pecen.
Along with Loan, the seven-member 2010 UNI Solar Panther Team includes: Tony Wagner, a senior technology education and training teaching major from Bellevue; Damon Knowling, a senior EET major from Coralville; David Buseman, a senior EET major from Waterloo; Justin Chu, a sophomore from Dalian, China; Tom Mason, a senior manufacturing technology major from Waterloo; and Abubakar Audu, a sophomore EET major from Cedar Rapids.
UNI will host Solar Splash for the first time in June 2011 at George Wyth Park in Waterloo and again in 2012 and 2013.
The UNI Solar Electric Boat project is funded by an Iowa Energy Center grant, with additional support provided by the UNI Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the UNI College of Natural Sciences, John Deere, BP Solar and Advanced Circuits. For more information, visit cns.uni.edu/eboat/.
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