The University of Missouri-Rolla Solar Car Race Team took top honors at several major solar car competitions with the help of Cooper Bussmann.

UMR's Solar Miner III, placed second in its class in the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2001 at Topeka, Kan.; second overall in the American Solar Challenge 2001 from Chicago to Los Angeles and placed fourth overall at the World Solar Challenge 2001 in Australia.

The Formula Sun Grand Prix was the qualifying rayce (“rayce” refers to the power that the sun's rays have upon a solar vehicle's performance) for the 2001 American Solar Challenge. Contestants in the Formula Sun Grand Prix, at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., maneuvered their solar vehicles around a 2.1-mile racetrack during a three-day endurance race. Participants who accumulated the most laps during the three-day Formula Sun Grand Prix moved on to the American Solar Challenge, where they faced a “rayce” of more than 2,000 miles long through varied climates, topography and road conditions.

Solar car teams that wanted to pursue the ultimate endurance test moved into the World Solar Challenge, where participants traveled the entire length of the continent of Australia. Beginning in Darwin and ending in Adelaide, the World Solar Challenge covers about 3,010 km.

Bussmann donated a quantity of its FWX series 35A and 80A semiconductor fuses and 35A JJN T-Tron fast-acting power fuses to provide circuit protection for the solar vehicle.

Building and race planning for the solar cars is a two-year project for the Solar Car Race Team. The students have been racing since 1993.


Siemens Solar Industries, Camarillo, Calif., has announced that one of their partners, Econo Air, will install a 17.1 kW Earthsafe solar electric system, manufactured by Siemens Solar, for their headquarters. Econo Air, an Anaheim, Calif.-based installer of high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems, will install most moderate-sized solar electricity jobs in one day.

Earthsafe systems, designed and manufactured by Siemens Solar, are said to be the world's only UL-listed solar electric kits available today. The kits include 25-year warranted solar panels, a 10-year warranted solar electric inverter and mounting hardware. Installed by qualified electrical contractors, these grid-tied systems allow excess electricity generated by the solar panels to feed back into the electric grid and spin the utility meter backwards in times of low electricity usage. Battery-backed kits are also available. Solar electric systems by Siemens Solar are available in sizes ranging from 600W for residential systems to megawatts for commercial installations.