The award-winning SIUE School of Engineering Solar Car Team received a nearly $8,000 donation and sponsorship from Drytac Corporation. A Hot Press Heated Glass Top Vacuum Press was donated to aid the team with solar array encapsulation, a sealing process which increases the solar cell panel’s strength and protects it from external elements.
“The SIUE Solar Car Team used a Drytac press to encapsulate our first array which powered our car, ‘Black Nova,’ in the 2013 Formula Sun Grand Prix Race in Austin, Texas," said Zachary Crawford, student project director of the SIUE Solar Car Team. “In order to help us continue our experiments, Drytac generously donated a press to the team.”
“Information collected with these experiments will not only help the team to create efficient, lightweight and flexible solar panels, but also will make panels like this more accessible to the general public.”
Crawford reached out to Drytac Corporation to explain how vacuum presses were beginning to be used to encapsulate and protect solar cells from environment conditions.
“Business and educational partnerships are a key factor in cultivating solutions for our expanding global energy needs,” said Jerry Hill, vice president of new market business development for Drytac Corporation. “Drytac is proud to contribute to the development of alternative manufacturing methods for solar cells, whereby one day any individual will be able to produce them. Free and clean energy is our ultimate gift to society.”
The SIUE Solar Car Team is managed by experienced, student directors working to enable team members to learn about solar energy, apply class theory to real world applications and to be a part of a unique project. The team benefits from the diversity of disciplines and experiences from its all student members.
With mostly juniors and seniors in various fields from business and marketing to electrical and mechanical engineering, the team represents a variety of groups from multiple disciplines at SIUE.