Geneva College′s 2013 Solar Splash Team placed second overall, beating teams such as University of Arkansas and the University of South Carolina in the 20thAnnual World Championship of Intercollegiate Solar Boating, which was held this June in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The combined scores of the team′s second-place win in the two-hour long Endurance Race and its third-place score on the Technical Report contributed to this high ranking, a team best in Geneva′s history of attending the competition since 2000.
The team members, engineering majors Daniel Carr of West Lafayette, IN; Daniel Edgar of Drexel Hill, PA; Jeffrey Meyers of Hummelstown, PA; and Shannon Rech of Austintown, OH, were advised by engineering professor Dr. David Shaw. They competed against a field of 15 teams including those from Cedarville University, California State Polytechnic University, the University of Northern Iowa, Northeastern University and others.
“Once again, our Geneva team did a great job of working together,” said Dr. Shaw. “This included working quickly to get the boat on the water, watching for tornadoes during tornado warnings—not Golden Tornadoes—and getting up quickly at 1:30 a.m. to pack up our supplies as the flood waters rose. Along the way, members also grew in their decision-making capabilities.”
The Solar Splash World Championship, sponsored by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is an engineering competition where teams design and build a solar powered boat to compete in a variety of different races.
The competition is comprised of a variety of competitions with awards presented to the team that demonstrates the best performance in each event. The overall winner is determined by Technical Report, Visual Presentation, Workmanship, Qualifying, Solar Slalom, Endurance and Sprint.
Over the years, Geneva′s team has been awarded various distinctions such as Best Looking Boat and the Sportsmanship Award. Each year, teams of seniors with the help of underclassmen work to improve on past designs or work to complete redesigns to improve the overall performance of the solar electric boat.
“Probably the most important modification we made was that we redesigned our steering to provide more control and ease of use,” said Edgar. “The new steering also provided a way for us to adjust the angle at which the propeller sits in the water that allowed us to better direct forward thrust. Interestingly, the improvements really didn't add much to our speed, but did serve to make the boat much more efficient.”
Final event results can be found at http://www.solarsplash.com/results/event13.php.
To view photos from the competition, go to http://www.solarsplash.com/photo_lib/photo13.php.
Or visit the team′s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GCSolarSplash.
by Lynsey Auell ′14