University of Kentucky Solar Car Team

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The University of Kentucky Solar Car Team is an independent, student-led project that operates as part of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. In 2008, the Solar Car Team completed its first North American Solar Challenge, finishing 11th of 15 teams in the 2400 mile race from Plano, TX, USA to Calgary, AB, Canada. In 2009, the team placed 2nd (out of 11 teams) in the Formula Sun Grand Prix at the Texas Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, TX. In 2010, the team placed 9th in the American Solar Challenge, from Broken Arrow, OK to Naperville, IL.


To finance, design, build, and race solar-powered cars while developing team members through practical experience.


Membership is open to all University of Kentucky students (Undergraduate and Graduate), professors, and members of the community.


The Solar Car Team strives to:

  • Continuously improve the safety, reliability, efficiency, and practicality of its vehicle.
  • Develop the skills of teamwork, innovation, resourcefulness, communication, and leadership in its team members.
  • Spread alternative energy awareness throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


The team has built three vehicles since its inception in 1999.

  • Gato del Sol I - 4-wheels, BP Solar Cells, 7-layer fiberglass shell.
    • ASC 2003: Passed Scrutineering, DNQ for rayce. Sportsmanship Award for loaning motor to CalSol's Solar Bear
    • FSGP 2004: Placed 2nd in Stock Class
  • Gato del Sol II - 3 wheels, 480 Sunpower A-300 cells, fiberglass/foam shell.
    • NASC 2005: Passed Scrutineering, DNQ for rayce.
  • Gato del Sol III - 3 wheels, 480 Sunpower A-300 cells (1200W Peak), fiberglass/foam shell, 27degree seating angle.
    • NASC 2008: Passed Scrutineering (6th), Qualified for rayce (5th), Finished rayce (11th). Total time: 100:33:24
    • FSGP 2009: Passed Scrutineering (4th), Placed 2nd overall.
  • Gato del Sol IV - 3 wheels, 2000 Emcore Advanced Triple-Junction Gallium Arsenide cells
    • ASC 2010: Passed Scrutineering, Placed 9th overall.[1]
    • Earned Adversity Award[2]
    • ASC 2012: Passed Scrutineering, DNQ for race.



  1. ^ Summer Hall [1] "Solar Car Team places 9th in national competition" Kentucky Kernel July 14, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  2. ^ [2] American Solar Challenge 2010 media page

External links[edit]