BOONE, N.C. — Team Sunergy, Appalachian State University’s solar vehicle team, announced the name of its new Cruiser Class vehicle, now in the final stages of construction. The solar vehicle will be called ROSE — an acronym for Racing on Solar Energy.
The name was submitted by Wyatt Bailey, a sophomore from Burlington majoring in sustainable technology and a member of the Solar Vehicle Team. ROSE was one of more than 250 names submitted to the team for consideration. As the winner, Bailey’s signature will be stamped inside the body of the car.
ROSE is the second vehicle constructed by the solar vehicle team. Apperion, a single-passenger racing vehicle, was constructed in 2015 using a shell from a retired solar vehicle donated by Iowa State University. The Cruiser Class car is designed, constructed, machined and outfitted by Team Sunergy with help from VX Aerospace in Morganton, a composite fabrication and assembly company, and the Machine Shop team in Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Many of the vehicle’s smaller components are purchased rather than custom made — a considerable cost savings.
The name was announced at the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors meeting held May 4. Dan Blakeley, team project manager, told the board, in addition to being an appropriate acronym, “a yellow rose — or maybe an ‘Appalachian Rose’ — is a symbol of sunshine and a bright future. That embodies what this vehicle is meant to be.”
Furthermore, Blakeley said, “It will have the look and feel of a true automobile. A true car.”
The team plans to unveil the car in Appalachian’s Holmes Convocation Center June 22 and will depart Boone soon after to race in its third Formula Sun Grand Prix on the track at Motorsport Park in Hastings, Nebraska. From there, the team will embark on an eight-day, 1,700-mile, cross-country race along the Oregon Trail in the 2018 American Solar Challenge.
Built for the Cruiser Class division, this racer is made from infused carbon fiber. It features seating for two, conventionally opening doors, a gauge cluster, turn signals and — an amenity the team is particularly excited about — cup holders. The car can reach speeds up to 75 miles per hour.
“We believe we have one of the best cars to be entered into the competition,” Blakeley said.
Blakeley ’15 graduates with dual master’s degrees in technology and engineering physics May 12. A veteran who served six years in the Army with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, he conceived of the idea while an undergraduate and has been a driving force behind the project.
He will serve as faculty adviser to Team Sunergy next fall, turning over leadership to Kali Smith, a senior from Connelly Springs studying environmental economics and policy, and Bailey, who will be the engineering director for the team during the race.
In his remarks to the board, Blakeley thanked the members for their support and for helping the team network and gain exposure. He said the team was in critical need of a truck for towing the new vehicle, particularly over mountainous terrain.
Coming soon — How to grow a ROSE: the making of a Cruiser Class car
An informative documentary that follows Appalachian State University's Team Sunergy as they compete in the 2017 Formula Sun Grand Prix. Team Sunergy travels from Boone, North Carolina, to Austin, Texas, for three days of solar racing at the United States’ premier Formula 1 track, Circuit of the Americas.
About Team Sunergy
Team Sunergy is Appalachian State University’s interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students transforming solar-powered transportation. Its solar car Apperion gained national attention with top-three finishes in the 2016 and 2017 Formula Sun Grand Prix, an international collegiate endurance competition that sets the standards for and tests the limits of solar vehicle technology. Team Sunergy brings together students from a variety of majors who have a passion for sustainable transportation and the ingenuity, innovation and drive to create it. Learn more at http://sunergy.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.