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SOLAR SPEEDSTER: UC Berkeley’s Gold Rush Racer
Posted By Mike Chino On July 7, 2009 @ 7:00 pm In Green Transportation,San Francisco,Solar Power,TransportationTuesday | No Comments
Engineering students at UC Berkeley  recently showcased a slick solar race car  clad in photovoltaic panels that looks for all the world like UFO hovering a few feet over the earth. Dubbed the GoldRush , the vehicle is completely powered by the sun’s rays and is capable of hitting an impressive top speed of 50 miles per hour without using a single drop of gas. I recently had a chance to catch up with the sleek solar vehicle at the Marin County Fair and was able to snap some first hand photos – hit the jump for more!
When I caught up with the GoldRush at last weekend’s Marin County Fair , it was soaking up the sun’s rays alongside a set of other electric vehicles at the Fair’s Electric Wheels Car Show . As the exhibit’s only car completely powered by the sun, the GoldRush’s eye-catching photovoltaic array and streamlined space-age curves turned just as many heads as the svelte Tesla Roadster  parked a few paces away.
In designing the GoldRush the students decided to go with a three-wheeled design that kept the vehicle’s weight to a minimum. The car’s solar panel studded shell is composed of lightweight and super strong Kevlar  and Nomex  honeycomb, and the chassis is constructed from chromoly steel . As an ultra-efficient racing vehicle, the GoldRush has just enough space for a single rider seated upright.
The vehicle is the latest in a series of six solar racing vehicles developed by UC Berkeley’s Calsol  program since its formation in 1990. The team has competed in a wide range of racing events including the North American Solar Challenge , the Formula Sun Grand Prix , and the World Solar Challenge . We wish them the best of luck as they continue to race towards a brighter, more sustainable future.
+ Calsol 
Fair Photos by Mike Chino
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 UC Berkeley: http://calsol.berkeley.edu/blog/index.php
 solar race car: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/06/30/transportation-tuesday-the-solar-powered-nuna5/
 GoldRush: http://calsol.berkeley.edu/the_cars.php
 Marin County Fair: http://www.marinfair.org/
 Electric Wheels Car Show: http://www.marinfair.org/car_expo.cfm
 Tesla Roadster: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/04/tesla-motors-the-electric-roadster/
 Kevlar: http://www2.dupont.com/Kevlar/en_US/index.html
 Nomex: http://www2.dupont.com/Nomex/en_US/
 chromoly steel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/41xx_steel
 North American Solar Challenge: http://www.americansolarchallenge.org/
 Formula Sun Grand Prix: http://americansolarchallenge.org/event/asc2009/FSGP2009_info.html
 World Solar Challenge: http://www.wsc.org.au/
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