South Dakota Tech News
501 E. Saint Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2004
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Grubby Express Bound For Competition
The Grubby Express, South Dakota Tech’s entry into the national Chemical Car competition, leaves its Rapid City station Thursday, Nov. 4, for Austin, Texas. There, the Tech team will compete against teams from more than 30 universities across the country.
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.
An hour before Sunday’s competition begins at the Austin Convention Center, the teams will be told how far their vehicles must travel and how much weight the vehicles must carry. The object of the 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 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.
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