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Solar In the Schools PV RC Racers

Posted by: chris
October 23, 2012

The Solar In the Schools K-12 outreach program is hitting the road with cutting-edge solar RC cars built and driven by students. Four teams of students will be working under supervision this winter to build high-performance PV-direct radio-control model cars. The project will require students to construct their own array and customize the mechanical and electrical systems of their 1/10 scale cars to maximize solar performance on the track.

The finished RC cars, which are not currently raced anywhere else in the world, will come together for a demonstration race in May at the Junior Solar Sprint event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denver. The Junior Solar Sprint is a national race for middle-school students using simple solar dragsters that follow guide wires. Sophisticated Solar In the Schools PV RC racers will allow these students to continue building their skills in high school with more complicated mechanical and electrical systems. Most notably, PV-direct racecars can incorporate maximum power point tracking (MPPT) circuits which drastically increase their performance.

With a successful debut at NREL, this race series will ideally become a national Solar In the Schools event. Each car will cost about $500 in parts – watch for the Kickstarter campaign coming soon. 

For more information about SEI's Solar in the Schools, contact Noah Davis at

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