Sunday, March 15, 2009

Momentum in Aruba, Day 2-3

Day two was again filled with radio shows, interviews, and a large press conference held outside of the AVP offices. The press conference was videotaped and photographed by what seemed to be every media outlet in Aruba. The prime time news on ATV (Aruba TV) even featured Jeff and I speaking about our car in a five minute long segment that they had advertised for all throughout the day.

Aruba surly has been excited about our presence. So far, we have been featured live on three radio shows, and have graced the front page of three daily newspapers (which may in fact be every newspaper in all of Aruba). The Diario (translated as the Daily Diary),even published a political cartoon featuring our solar car.

Following the press conference, the team was finally able to enjoy the island.We were treated to a lovely meal on a pier outstretched over the gentile rolling waves on the western coast of Aruba. Our new best friend, Sylvia, has put up with the four of us for the past few days, serving as our personal tour guide and taxi driver.We even had to dig her car out the sand on the beach, but don't tell her. Among the 300 plus motorcycles cruising the strip, we treated ourselves to some much needed relaxation time with the other college students who aren't just pretending they are on spring break.

The sun in Aruba is intense to say the least. We were able to charge all of MomentUM's batteries in record time during the morning of day three. The team spend most of the day displaying the car in Paseo Herencia. Hundreds of tourists and locals alike were amazed with the car and that we were all the way in Aruba promoting clean energy and the University of Michigan.

About 5 hours ago, we completed something that has never been done by a Michigan Solar Car:Race in a 1/4 mile drag race. Street racing is extremely popular in Aruba and tonight was "Street Legal" night at the track. We did get a strange look from the track officials when we pulled up with the solar car, but after a quick chat, they shut down all the racing to see Momentum Ripping down the track. OK, ripping may have been a poor word choice. I am proud to announce four records currently held by Momentum at Palomarta Dragstrip.

1. Fastest time every by a solar powered car.

2. First ever solar car on the track.

3. Most Fuel Efficient (no oil spilled, and no rubber left behind) car ever on the track.

and finally, the record we will be most remembered for...

4. Slowest Vehicle ever to complete a pass.
Our official numbers were 30.42 sec at 56.94 MPH and as far as we know, that is a world record.

Tomorrow the team plans on relaxing on the beach and cruising the island on some quad racers. Don't worry we won't forget the sunscreen.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog has moved!

Please view our blog at our new website.

Blog can be found under the "News" tab.


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Momentum arrives in Aruba!

More than three years after MomentUM (our 2005 car) traveled to Australia to compete in the 2005 World Solar Challenge, MomentUM is once again back on the road! Invited by Mike Eman and the AVP, four team members have traveled with the car to Aruba to promote green energy. We are proud to be the first solar car in Aruba, and will be travling across the country this upcoming wed in celebration of the Aruban National Holiday and Flag day.

The four of us arrive in Aruba

After arriving late last night and spening a few hours touring the office and meeting Mike, we retired in preperation for a busy day today.

Meeting people at the AVP office Joe Belter, Jeff Ferman, David Mazur, and David Masselink at the AVP office.

This morning we traveled from interview to interview before heading out for a late lunch. We were featured live on two radio stations! We then spent the afternoon ensuring the car survived the journey (which it did) and preparing the car for upcoming events. After test driving the car, we are ready for tomorrow's press release.

The first radio station we visited.

David Masselink opens the crate to check on the car.

And now I'm going to head back inside and leave my nice lounge chair by the pool.

A view from my lounge chair of the pool at the apartment we are staying in.



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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Updates from Mechanical Division

The mechanical engineers have been working hard to finalize designs. Most parts have been sent out to machinists and CAD work has not been as intense. Thanks to Altair, analysis of more complex systems such as the chassis has been made easier.

After many nights in the computer lab, we are eager to start hands-on work and build the car!
However, a car alone will not win championships. There are still mechanical systems to be designed that help the car race. As exams roll around again, we will be maintaining a delicate balance of school, construction of Infinium, and design work of secondary systems.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Website!

Tomorrow morning, the new website for the Michigan Solar Car Team will be launched. (The address will stay the same). Check out the photo Gallery to view pictures from the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, our visit to the Ford World Headquarters, the 2009 North American International Auto Show, and the 2008 Woodward Dream Cruise.

More content will be coming soon!

Thank you Steven Hechtman, Maria Lee, and Lukas Pankau for all of the hard work that went into creating the site.


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Monday, March 09, 2009

Michigan Solar Car Featured in April Issue of Popular Mechanics

Solar car supporters and fans,

Check out the April edition of Popular Mechanics for a four-page story on the Michigan Solar Car Team!


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Thursday, March 05, 2009

"Spring" "Break" in Ann Arbor

It is now the first week back after Spring Break and the team is once again getting used to juggling solar car work with classes. Although the 30 degree weather hardly reminded us of spring, and most of the team spent over 12 hours a day working at the team's workspace or office, spring break was very productive and a lot of fun.

The team was happy to have a break from the pressure of school in order to move the production of the car full force ahead. The body of the car is currently well on its way to completion and many parts have been machined by our sponsors. We are currently on time to meet our projected late April roll date which will give us sufficient time for testing before leaving for Australia.

In the office, the administrative side of the team was very busy. Early in the week the office was stocked with food and Monday morning at 8:30, we moved in for the week. Calls and meetings happened each day between 8am and 5pm. After 5 when business hours were over, the iPod or Pandora station was turned on and follow-up e-mails and proposals were written, company research was conducted, and print materials were worked on. Progress was also made on the team’s new website. (Look for a new page by this weekend or early next week!)

The team worked hard over throughout the week, but some time was saved for fun. Overall, we got to know each other a lot better and became a stronger team. On Wednesday night we took a break and all came together to watch a movie and eat pizza.

This weekend the weather report predicts we are going to be taunted with the hope of spring. 50 degrees weather is no Cancun sun, but it is a nice change from the frigid winter. For everyone who came back from Spring Break tan, we probably don’t want to hear about. : )

Gerald Chang and Jeremy Nash

Jeremy Nash

- Julia Hawley, Business Director


Anonymous don said...

Do you have any updated pictures of the car?

March 8, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

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