In one previous post and in another, I mentioned American university students Will Jones, Kyle Samluk, and Danny Ezzo, who were planning to take their home-made solar car Pink Skies on the Cannonball Run from New York to Los Angeles – see their website and Instagram.
Sadly, they had to terminate the drive because of extensive damage to their electrical system. As the map shows, they had completed just over 25% of the distance to Los Angeles. That is not a bad effort at all, and I salute them on their vision and their persistence. The solar car game is mostly about what you learn, and I’m sure they learned a lot, both during construction and during the trip!
In a previous post, I mentioned American university students Will Jones, Kyle Samluk, and Danny Ezzo, who are taking their home-made solar car Pink Skies on the Cannonball Run from New York to Los Angeles. As the map shows, after the first day they are roughly 6% of the way there, in spite of a few hiccups reported on their website and on Instagram. As a bonus, they are also driving through some really beautiful countryside.
Update A: Day 2 (Friday June 25) saw the team driving from Sunbury, PA to Brookville, PA, for a total of 332.6 miles (535 km), roughly 10% of the way across the US in total (map has been edited). Some repairs were needed in Brookville.
Update B: Day 3 (Saturday June 26) saw the team driving into Ohio, roughly 15% of the way across the US in total (map has been edited again). The 24-hour forecast shows rain coming up, however, so it’s time for some strategic planning.
In a previous post, I mentioned American university students Kyle Samluk, Will Jones, and Danny Ezzo, who are intending to take a home-made, crowd-funded solar car on the Cannonball Run from New York to Los Angeles, leaving their home in Michigan on 22 June. They, and their car Pink Skies, are being farewelled with ice cream, apparently. Kyle’s favourite solar car team is Agoria, so Belgian beer might have been more appropriate, but I guess that U.S. drinking laws rule that out.
You can follow their progress on their website and on Instagram or Facebook. Good luck, guys!
Something a little different in the solar car space today. Will Jones and Kyle Samluk are mechanical engineering students from two different universities in Michigan, with a background in a high school team. Eschewing the mainstream competitions (as many major teams are doing), they have built their own solar car, and between 22 June and 6 July they are planning to drive it the 4,900 km or so of the Cannonball Run from New York to Los Angeles.
The US has been crossed in a solar car before (in 2012), when Bochum’s SolarWorld GT made its round-the-world trip. It clocked up a scenic 6,553 km in just over 50 days, from San Francisco via Dallas to Charleston, SC, requiring frequent charging stops and additional solar panels in the trunk. Will and Kyle, assisted by fellow-student Danny Ezzo, hope to cross the US in less than a third of the time. You can follow their progress on their website and on Instagram or Facebook. They are also raising funds needed for the trip.
Top L: Pink Skies with aerobody but no solar panels, Top R: Pink Skies with solar panels but no aerobody, Bottom L: chassis, showing tadpole wheel configuration, Bottom R: rear (driven) wheel [images from the Pink Skies team].
The chassis of their car Pink Skies is a monocoque made from sheet aluminium, with bulkheads riveted in (it looks more like an Abrams tank than an aircraft, to be honest). The solar panels appear to be originally intended for rooftop use. They make up about a third of the weight, but produce a substantial 2.2 kW of power (roughly double that of a typical ASC or BWSC car).
For energy storage, Will and Kyle have taken the safer LiFePO4 option. The suspension is pretty much missing in action, so the ride is likely to be somewhat bumpy. Top speed appears to be an impressive 110 kph, with a 70 kph cruising speed. Will and Kyle also seem to have done a good job of engineering on-the-fly as testing revealed problems with the initial design. I salute their initiative and their vision and I wish them well as they drive across the American continent.