Rocklin, CA-The Sierra College Physics and Engineering Club along with the Energy Technology Program spent last Saturday May 17 competing in the Northern California SMUD Solar Regatta at the Rancho Seco Recreational Area in Herald, CA, and came back to the Rocklin Campus the big winners of the event.
Competing in separate events, the Solar Energy Program team beat out 9 other college teams to win first place in the endurance race. The Sierra Engineering Club team won several trophies, including the Regatta cup. Overall, Sierra College dominated the event.
The Sierra College Physics and Engineering Club built their boat entry from scratch. The students designed and built everything from the hull, to the controls, to the electrical system. The boat is currently on display outside of Sewell Hall, Building S, on the Rocklin Campus.
The Energy and Technology Center of SMUD opened this event to all middle, high school and college students from Fresno to the Oregon Boarder to either retrofit or build from scratch, a solar powered boat and then participate in a fun-filled day of competitions in speed, distance, maneuverability and more. This academic competition provided a chance for students to learn about renewable energy using solar while celebrating the aquatic history of California.
So, what do students learn by building a solar boat?
Physics and practical electricity: wiring, motors, force, motion and fluid dynamics
Renewable energy: researching applicability, resources and sustainability
Solar: load management, battery sizing
Engineering: design, materials, schematics and circuit design
Communication: presentation to judges and media