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Durham College, UOIT solar vehicle project really rolling now

The Durham College and UOIT Solar Vehicle Team is continuing to brim with energy as it rolls towards the starting line of the 2007 solar challenge season.

The team is almost halfway to its fundraising goal, achieved some construction milestones this summer, and recently celebrated the arrival of an innovative and high-efficiency electric motor.

"We are currently nearing the completion of the mechanical prototype of our car and its final chassis, as well, all mechanical components should be completed in early 2007," said Michael Mior, vice-president of Advancement for the team.

The electric motor will act as the engine of the vehicle, fitting directly into one of the four wheel hubs and eliminating the need for traditional mechanical systems such as transmissions and differentials. This allows the team to achieve maximum utilization of the 1.5 kilowatts generated by the vehicle's solar setup, or enough energy to produce cruising speeds between 60 and 80 kilometres per hour.

Howard Humphrey of the Manufacturing and Technology Centre donated $5,000 over the summer, just one of the sponsors to make a recent contribution. The team has also built the mould that will be used to form the outer body of the vehicle. Toronto-based Healey Steel provided assistance and the computer numerical controlled machine required to create the cross-sections used in the mould.

"We are halfway towards our fundraising goal of $120,000 and are constantly looking for new sponsors interested in working with us," said Mior. "With the help of these sponsors, we hope to purchase the remaining components of our car in early spring and prepare to compete this summer."

Individuals interested in helping financially can adopt one or more of the car's 500 solar cells for $50 each.

The Durham College and UOIT Solar Vehicle Team brings together students from various faculties and programs, along with local governments, businesses, and community organizations. The team's primary goals are to design and build a solar-powered vehicle to compete in internationally renowned competitions, and reach younger students and the public through an education campaign designed to improve awareness about renewable energy and its importance for environmental sustainability.

For more information about the team, call 905.721.3111 ext. 6980, e-mail solarcar@uoit.ca


About UOIT
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) advances the discovery and application of knowledge through a technology-enriched learning environment and the delivery of innovative market-driven programs responsive to the needs of students and industry. With more than 9,600 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 75 programs, UOIT promotes social engagement, fosters critical thinking and integrates outcomes-based learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. UOIT's commitment to accelerating economic growth and social innovation is realized through faculty research collaborations with leading organizations such as Ontario Power Generation, IBM, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Durham Regional Police Service. To find out more, visit uoit.ca.

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