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SUNRAYCE 93 SHOWCASES SOLAR-RELATED TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS

 ALBERT LEA, Minn., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunrayce 93 provides North America's future scientists and engineers the opportunity to experiment with advanced solar technologies as they race solar-powered vehicles across America's heartland.
 Solar power associated with this race has advanced significantly since the first Sunrayce in 1990, according to J. Ward Phillips, a member of the Sunrayce Advisory Committee. "In particular, the quality and efficiency of the solar cells -- which convert sunlight to electricity to power the vehicle -- have increased tremendously," he said. "Since 1990, the efficiency of commercial grade terrestrial cells has increased from 12.5 percent to 17 percent."
 Phillips also noted the cost of the solar cells has decreased while efficiency has increased. "The improved solar cell technology is making for a faster race and higher average speeds. For example, California State - L.A. qualified for Sunrayce 93 with an average speed of 50.04 mph."
 Jean Crocker, manager of public affairs for GM's Impact Electric Vehicle Program, added, "Lead-acid battery performance in Sunrayce 93 vehicles is important to efforts to develop an electric car for retail sale. The GM Impact, for example, runs on an 880-pound, 320-volt lead- acid battery."
 Composite materials and their weight and tensile strength advantages appear to be a must for future solar or electric vehicles, noted Phillips. "In 1990, only about six teams were capable of using exotic composite materials. Today, 80 percent of the Sunrayce teams are using them," he said.
 Students have expressed their enthusiasm for using advanced solar technologies outside of the classroom. "Sunrayce involves us in many different real-life situations that we would have never been exposed to unless we were involved in a project like this," explained Chris Harvey, a Mankato State University team member.
 -0- 6/25/93
 /CONTACT: Sunrayce Hotline, 303-231-7683/


CO: Sunrayce 93 ST: Minnesota IN: AUT SU: PDT

LD -- NY060 -- 5965 06/25/93 21:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1993
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