June 27, 2007
New World Record at Solar Drag Race

The South Whidbey Team dragster set a new world record of 29.5 seconds for the quarter-kilometer distance at the third annual Solar Drag Race in Wenatchee, Washington this past weekend.

Vehicles participating in the Solar Drag Race can only use solar panels for power—no batteries or pre-charged devices are allowed.

Three other solar drag-racing teams from Washington state competed in this annual event. Team Photon Phantom, sponsored by Brooks Solar of Chelan, beat the previous world record with a time of 43 seconds. Central Washington University, the only college entry, finished with a time of 104 seconds.

Middle school students from Republic built a solar dragster that competed in the high school division and finished in 69 seconds.

As winners of their respective divisions, Central Washington University and Republic teams each received $1,000 scholarships provided by REC Silicon of Moses Lake. REC Silicon is one of the world’s largest producers of purified silicon, a key component of solar cells.

The Solar Drag Race takes place once a year on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. The race is organized by Dr. Jim White of Wenatchee as a way to increase understanding of solar power, build enthusiasm, and get youth involved in the growing field of solar energy.

We don’t have an energy shortage; we have an energy intelligence shortage. We just need to become smart enough to capture all the clean renewable energy that shines around us every day. The goal of the solar drag race is to help us find that knowledge.
—Jim White