South Dakota Tech News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2004
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Chem Car Finishes Fourth In Poster Competition
The South Dakota Tech Chemical Car team’s research poster finished in fourth place during the national Chemical Car competition held in Texas.
The Chemical Car competition challenges students to design, build and race a vehicle that is powered solely by a chemical reaction. Tech’s vehicle resembles a train and is fueled by a hydrogen fuel cell. It is also stopped by a chemical reaction. The team also produced a research poster that explained the vehicle’s operating systems and design.
The object of the vehicle competition is to regulate the vehicle’s chemical reaction so it stops close to a designated finish line. The vehicle that finishes closest wins. The team’s vehicle, called the Grubby Express, would have placed third overall in the weekend competition, but the vehicle took too much time in running the course.
The Grubby Express uses a pressure regulator that moves hydrogen from a storage tank to the fuel cell. The fuel cell powers an electrical circuit that consists of a few resistors and a capacitor that distributes power to the motors.
The vehicle uses a unique braking system, called a blue bottle reaction, which is controlled by the amount of sugar placed in a solution. The chemical reaction pulls power from the motor and stops the vehicle.
The Chemical Car team is multidisciplinary and includes students from the Chemical, Mechanical, Computer, and Electrical engineering departments.
Tech competed against more than 30 teams from universities across the country.
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