Appalachian State University Team Races Solar Car Across The Country

Appalachian State University Team Races Solar Car Across The Country

7:56am Aug 01, 2016
Appalachian State University’s solar vehicle, Apperion, on the track at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania. Credit: Marie Freeman
  • Team Sunergy at the award ceremony for the Formula Sun Grand Prix. The team took third place. Credit: Marie Freeman

  • Team Sunergy electrical director Pedro Franco monitors the battery charging for Apperion, Appalachian’s solar vehicle. Credit: Marie Freeman

  • Apperion, Appalachian’s solar vehicle, bears the number 828, representing its local area code. Credit: Marie Freeman

  • Appalachian State University’s Team Sunergy celebrates their third place win at the Formula Sun Grand Prix at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania. Pictured (left to right) are Abby Hastings, James Furr, Jon Linck, Bailey Winecoff, Jake Barnes, Logan Ward, Andrew Grimes, Pedro Franco, Lindsay Rudisill, Duvey Rudow and Dan Blakeley. Credit: Marie Freeman

A team of Appalachian State University students is currently racing across the country in the solar-powered car they built. Team Sunergy began the competition after a three-day qualifying round.

The ASU group placed third at the recent Formula Sun Grand Prix in Pennsylvania. And now, they’re on a 1,975-mile trip across the country.

The American Solar Challenge will take the drivers through seven states and nine national forests, all while testing the endurance and sustainability of their vehicle. Project Manager and driver Dan Blakeley describes the car they’ve named Apperion. 

“It’s a three-wheeled, fully solar powered vehicle. It has a 1,200 watt solar array. At 45mph it can sustain itself all day while using less power than you consume while utilizing a standard hair dryer.”

The Solar Challenge began on Saturday in Brecksville, Ohio and will finish in Hot Springs, South Dakota. ASU’s is the only North Carolina team in the competition.

Follow the team's progress and get updates on their journey here.

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