Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Non political good news for a change

From Naharnet
"First Solar Car in Arab Region Made by Lebanese TeamA team of fourth-year engineering students and their professor have successfully built the first solar-powered vehicle in the Arab region, the American University of Beirut announced Wednesday.The team named their car Apollo's Chariot, in reference to the Greek god of the sun, the AUB press release said.It said the steel-and-fiberglass, one-seater vehicle measures 5.5 meters in length and 2 meters in width. It weighs about 700 kilograms, or almost double the weight of an average sedan. Led by Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Daniel Asmar, the team of Elie Maalouf, Amin Kanafani, Ahmed Hammoud, and Rawad el-Jurdi, took almost nine months of dedicated work to build the "Chariot," AUB said.It said that with its aerodynamic design, the futuristic-looking vehicle glides over the road quietly. "It looks like a rocket, but moves like a swan," said Kanafani. "We actually built a car that runs on a new kind of energy. It's almost like magic!"Professor Asmar admits, however, that solar-powered vehicles are still years from becoming commercially available. Right now, building one that can be safely driven on the streets would cost more than a million dollars. Nevertheless, they are important for research purposes.Apollo's Chariot cost about $25,000, the press release said. It said that through 36 small and eight large photovoltaic cells, the car converts solar energy into 1000 watts of power. The components of the car include the cells and batteries, which capture and store the solar energy, and a DC (direct current) motor which converts energy from the batteries into a uniform source of energy. A maximum power point tracker device also maximizes the amount of power delivered from the cells."

This, they achieved despite a year full of conflict and crap.

I wonder at the heights we would achieve as a nation if only we had a little peace, and with it the peace of mind that would allow us to create and advance.

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