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Michigan Solar Car - Infinium


     
The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is a non-profit organization at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It is one of the most successful solar car teams in North America, having won the North American Solar Challenge (NASC) five times. The team has also placed third in the World Solar Challenge three times. Four of its former vehicles are on display in museums in the United States, including the Henry Ford Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and the Boston Museum of Science.
 
History
Founded in 1989, the Solar Car Team is one of the largest and most successful student projects at the University. The team has built nine solar cars and competed in 12 major races. Although it draws heavily on undergraduate students from the College of Engineering, students from any academic discipline or year of study are allowed to join the team. Students have also come from the College of LS&A, the Ross School of Business, and the School of Art & Design.

In 1990, the team's first car, Sunrunner, finished in first place in the inaugural GM Sunrayce USA. The second generation team built its car, Maize & Blue, and competed in Sunrayce 93 finishing in first and in the World Solar Challenge finishing in 11th place.

After 1993's races, all projects have run on a 2-year cycle. During those two years, the team is typically anywhere from 100 to 200 (or more) students. The vast majority of these students volunteer their time freely, although in the past a small percentage opt to receive credit via the University's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. A race crew of approximately 20 students is selected to race the vehicle in competition. These students' function is similar to that of a pit crew in professional auto racing.
   

     
Vehicles by Year
1990: Sunrunner - GM Sunrayce: 1st place; WSC: 3rd place. On permanent display at The Henry Ford.
1993: Maize & Blue - Sunrayce USA: 1st place
1995: Solar Vision - On permanent display at the Great Lakes Science Center.
1997: Wolverine - GM Sunrayce: 6th place.
1999: MaizeBlaze - GM Sunrayce: 17th place; On permanent display at the Boston Museum of Science.
2001: M-Pulse - ASC: 1st place; WSC: 3rd place.
2003: Spectrum - ASC: DNQ
2005: Momentum - NASC: 1st place; WSC: 3rd place.
2007: Continuum - Placed 7th in the Challenge class
2008: Continuum - NASC: 1st place.
2009: Infinium - Unveiled in the summer of 2009. Will compete in the 2009 World Solar Challenge.



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