Top: Three of the four CFCC solar car prototypes that
were debuted in the 2019 Azalea Festival Parade. Above:
Students from the Mechanical Engineering Technology
Program at Cape Fear Community College with one of the
solar car prototypes on the school’s north campus.
cost $5,000 to $6,000 to build. Two are on display at the school’s North
Campus lobby and two are in the school’s lab.
The students had to have the car protypes running for the parade
and then ready to compete in the CFCC Solar Challenge event in May.
Appalachian State students were building a big solar car for one of
the bigger events and suggested Cape Fear do likewise, but cost was a
“You need $250,000 to build one of those big competitive cars and
I started thinking about why does it cost so much to compete? We
figured out what was going on, we figured out we could do a much-reduced
cost version of this,” Hendrickson says.
Using commercially available solar panels, the goal was to build car
prototypes that would only run for three hours and be limited to 400
watts. “That was our biggest cost control,” says Hendrickson.
With grant applications in the works, he says the program will try to
produce two cars next year. trending
PHOTOS BY WILL PAGE