Solar

Midnight Sun Solar Tour: 35 Days and 12,832 km

Curious police officers, cloudy skies, and a rambunctious St. Bernard have given the Midnight Sun team an interesting week. After some fast driving through the sunny states from California to Alabama the team has encountered the remnants of the hurricanes that have battered Florida and the islands.

September 10, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Each morning they wake up to clouds, and they have to do regular checks to be certain the electrical components are holding up to the weather. While driving through North Eastern Ohio, however, the trip was slowed down for a curious state trooper who wanted to know more about the solar car, and how road legal it was to drive on the state highways. After a five hour delay, that turned into an all-night stay in Warren, Ohio, the team was given a police escort to the state line where they crossed into Pennsylvania. It seems as all-points-bulletin went out about the team because they were stopped by a state trooper in New York who wanted his picture taken with the team and the car. The team spent the night in Olean, and got a scare from an 80-pound St. Bernard puppy while working on the car the next morning. A neighborhood cat wandered up to the team at the same time the dog was there, and the cat hid under the car’s array when the dog started to chase it. In an effort to get at the cat, all 80-pounds of puppy ended up on top of the array. There was only slight damage to a few of the modules, but a tense moment for everyone involved. The team has 222 km to go to beat the travel record held by Aurora-RMIT 101. Students from the University of Waterloo in Canada are the driving force behind The Midnight Sun Solar Car team. They are driving their car, Midnight Sun IIV, around North America to try and set a world record for distance traveled by a solar powered car. The trip is also a test run to perfect their car for the North American Solar Challenge Race in 2005.