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U of M solar car team hosts July 8 Open House before race across America that ends in Minneapolis

July 2, 2014

What: University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project Open House
Who: Solar car team members, sponsors, media and the general public
When: 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Where: University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project shop, University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus, Engineering and Fisheries Laboratory, 1995 Fitch Ave., St. Paul. Parking available in the Gortner Avenue Ramp, 1395 Gortner Ave., St. Paul.

Media note: This will be the media’s last chance to take photos/video of the car and talk with team members before they leave for the American Solar Challenge race.

See a solar car built by University of Minnesota science and engineering students and wish the team luck on their upcoming cross-country race at the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project Open House from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, July 8, at the team’s shop University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus, Engineering and Fisheries Laboratory, 1995 Fitch Ave., St. Paul. Convenient parking is available in the nearby Gortner Avenue Ramp. The event is free and open to the public.

Those attending the Open House will see the car take a test drive, view the car's inner workings, tour the Solar Vehicle Project team’s shop, and hear from members of the team about their upcoming cross-country American Solar Challenge race.

The University of Minnesota is among 24 teams from around the world competing this year in the American Solar Challenge. Other teams include MIT, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley and Georgia Tech, to name a few. The University of Minnesota’s #35 solar car has traditionally finished among the top teams in the race.

After completing several days of inspections and a multi-day track race, the teams will travel more than 1,700-miles across America beginning in Austin, Texas on Monday, July 21 and ending at the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Campus on Monday, July 28.

The University of Minnesota’s #35 car, named Centaurus III, includes a newly revamped electrical system, improved aerodynamics, and new safety features. The car is just over 3 feet tall, about 16 feet long and nearly 6 feet wide. It weighs just under 400 pounds.

About 50 University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering students are currently part of the team. About 17 students will be part of the race team.

Materials for the U of M’s solar car were funded through cash donations and in-kind donations of parts and materials. In addition to the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, major sponsors of the University of Minnesota’s solar car include 3M, Altium, ANSYS, Cirrus Aircraft, Delta Airlines, IAR Systems, PAR Systems, PTC, Segger and SunPower.

For more information about the University’s Solar Vehicle Project team, visit www.umnsvp.org.

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