PrISUm solar car visits Clarion

The PrISUm team had a steady trickle of visitors throughout the afternoon, with about a dozen visitors at 4 p.m. when the sun came out. Photo by Kacey Ginn

Last week, Clarion area residents got an up-close look at some exciting technology: a solar-powered car, designed by the PrISUm solar team from Iowa State University.

During June, the PrISUm team students are making visits to Iowa communities as part of a “Sun Run.” On June 14, they visited Clarion, setting up in the Shopko parking lot.

“It’s like a normal car. It just sounds different,” said Justin Schwarz, one of the PrISUm team members who visited Clarion.

The shell of the Penumbra car is made of a corrugated carbon fiber material similar in structure to cardboard. The upper surface of the vehicle is covered in solar cells, and a portion of the interior is taken up by the battery casing. In full sun and without battery assistance, it can drive at 40 miles per hour, and on a full charge can drive 200 miles. The Penumbra weighs about 1,000 pounds.


For the full story, see the June 21 edition of the Monitor.