Students on the team that built and raced Iowa State University’s solar car were honored in a reception Tuesday in Ames. The I-S-U “Fusion” car finished in third place its class, and 11th overall in the 25-hundred mile North American Solar Challenge race that wrapped up this past weekend. Team member Ryan Pfeiffer says it was a good experience.He says he thought they did pretty well considering the experienced and well-funded teams they were up against. Some loose wires and a problem with their battery protection system caused a few headaches, but Pfeiffer says overall the car ran well. He says there was no one large problem, just several small problems they had to work through. Pfeiffer is a senior in mechanical engineering from Council Bluffs who says he gained tons of experience in building the car and managing the team. While 14 of the 20 cars that started the race were good enough to finish — Pfeiffer doesn’t think we’ll ever see any of them tooling down the highway on a regular basis.He says he doesn’t think we’ll ever see a true solar car. He says he thinks we may see solar cells on houses that charge battery packs that’re place in the cars. Pfeiffer says that approach seems to be more practical than trying to incorporate the solar panels into cars. The University of Michigan beat the University of Minnesota by 12 minutes to win the solar car race.
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