Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sun Begins to Shine On Boat Entries

Students work on solar boats
Students from San Diego Sci-Tech High School get started on their 2010-11 solar-powered boat.
Students from Scripps Ranch and San Diego Sci-Tech high schools began their seven-month journey to design, build, test, tune and operate a 16 foot, 24 volt, 320-watt solar-powered boat for the Solar Cup, the nation’s largest solar boat competition.

The San Diego regional competition is sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The Engineering and Green Tech students were provided with wood and materials to begin construction on a canoe-style hull. All boats must conform to the same specifications.

Students will need to spend time studying and using Ohm’s Law and its variations, W = V x I (Watts = Voltage x Current). In full sunlight, the solar panels attached to the student boats produce 36 volts of direct current voltage (V) and have a current output of 9 amps (I). Using the formula, the solar panel will produce 324 watts of power as long as the panel is in direct sunlight [36 x 9 – 324 watts of power].
Students will attempt to maximize all variables with their solar panel placement and design to win the races. Students from Scripps Ranch High hope to take home a solar cup title for a second year in a row, while Sci-Tech  students from the San Diego High Educational Complex are looking for their first win.

The students' boats will compete in a series of races over a three-day period in May 2011.

For more information, please contact Greg Quirin, CCTE Program Specialist at (858) 503-1736.

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