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SolarPack: racing toward sustainability | Arts Entertainment

From July 1-6, SolarPack, a group of NC State students who work together on campus to build and race a solar powered car, participated in the Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. This was a competition to see who could build the best vehicle that was fueled by solar power. While the goal of the competition is to have the car that is able to complete the most laps, the entirety of the event is much more complicated. 

Cody Biedermann, the former director of Solar Pack, explained how the scoring works throughout the competition. 

“It’s really based on the lap total, but you can get deducted from your lap total from any number of infringement on their regulations,” Biedermann said. “So like efficiency, practicality, well-designed stuff, they take all of that into account.”

SolarPack was able to win the Rescue Van Doorman Award. Adam Lineberger, director of SolarPack and fourth-year mechanical engineering student, stated that many people may not even be able to make it on the track for the races, due to a variety of possible issues with their solar vehicles. At the beginning of the competition, only 4 out of 20 were able to start and by the end of the week, 11 out of 20 of the vehicles were able to get onto the track. 

Biedermann spoke about the experiences that the team gained from going to the Formula Sun Grand Prix and what they learned.

“We accomplished our greatest goal, which was learning what it means to be a solar car team,” Biedermann said. “What we did there was to build a foundation that we can take throughout the rest of the years of SolarPack, in that it’s a learning experience – we knew we weren’t going to go there and bust out and beat everyone and put down the

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