What happens when
you walk out in the street with your bare feet on a sunny afternoon in August?
Your feet cry out in pain as they absorb the heat from the road. What if we
could capture this heat and use it to our advantage. We wouldn't have to burn
coal and oil to generate electricity, we could just gain it from the Sun!
That is what Team
PrISUm is doing along with thousands of other solar energy collection stations
throughout the world. Team PrISUm uses this energy to race solar vehicles, but
as consumers we could use it to dry our hair, heat our homes, make popcorn, or
even run our computers.
Solar energy is
collected using solar panels, which are made up out of solar cells. Each solar
cell is a small electricity-generating device. The way that a solar cell works
can be explained in these simple ways:
hits the solar cell
As the light
hits the cell, electrons "jump" from one state to another
connectors in the solar cell, captures these electrons and uses them as
How many cars
does Team PrISUm have?
Team PrISUm began in 1989 and prepared the first ISU solar car for GM Sunrayce
USA, also making history as the first solar car from the state of Iowa. Since
then, the team has designed, constructed, and raced six other solar cars for a
total of seven cars. (See our
history page for more information.) Team PrISUm is one of only three
teams that have competed in all of the races.
1990 with "PrISUm"
from Orlando, FL to Warren (Detroit), MI
1993 with "PrISUm
II" from Dallas, TX to Minneapolis, MN
1995 with "PrISUm
CYnergy" from Indianapolis, IN to Golden, CO
1997 with "PrISUm
ExCYtor" from Indianapolis, IN to Colorado Springs, CO
1999 with "PrISUm
Phoenix" from Washington D.C. to Orlando, FL
2001 with "PrISUm
Odyssey" from Chicago, IL to Claremont (LA), CA
2003 with "PrISUm
Spectrum" from Chicago, IL to Claremont (LA), CA
After more than a
decade of solar racing, Team PrISUm is still the only solar car team in the
state of Iowa.
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