NDSU Team Wins in Cross-Country Solar Car Race

July 27, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

A solar race team from North Dakota State University (NDSU, Fargo, ND) crossed the southern California finish line first in the Stock Class of the American Solar Challenge yesterday, triumphing over teams from Berkeley and California Polytechnic State University. The 10-day, 2,300-mile American Solar Challenge took the NDSU students from Chicago to Los Angeles along historic Route 66 and is the longest solar car race in the world.

The winning NDSU vehicle, named Prairie Fire GT, was the only solar racer powered by an electric motor built by a conventional electric motor manufacturer, Bodine Electric Co. (Chicago, IL). The Bodine Electric e-TORQ™ motor is a patented, high-torque, industrial servomotor, typically used in packaging machinery and medical equipment. The 14in diameter e-TORQ motor used by the Sunsetters produced about 10HP with greater than 90% energy efficiency at a fraction of the cost of specially built solar vehicle motors.