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Boats solar cup

Published on May 15th, 2014 | by Amber Archangel

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Solar Cup: Largest Solar-Powered Boat Competition (VIDEO)

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May 15th, 2014 by  

Originally published on 1Sun4All.

Three days of racing launches this Friday, May 16 at Metropolitan Water District’s (mwdh20) 12th annual Solar Cup at Lake Skinner in Temecula Valley, California, reports mwdh2o. The nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition features nearly 700 students on 40 southland high school teams. Here’s some more info from mwdh20:

12th Annual Solar Cup 2014

The Official Solar Cup Video

There are many videos available on YouTube for the Solar Cup Competition, this is the official video made in 2008 and gives us the best overview of the very cool event.  

About 10,000 students have participated in Solar Cup™ since the inaugural event launched with just eight boats in 2002. The program is a team-based educational competition that allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications, while learning about Southern California’s water sources, resource management, conservation and alternative energy development.

solar cup Image courtesy of mwdh20

Since building identical hulls last November from kits supplied by Metropolitan, students have worked nights and weekends to maximize their boats’ endurance, speed and mechanical and electrical efficiencies. Over the past few months, working with their sponsoring Metropolitan member and local agencies, they have equipped the 16-foot-long shells with solar panels, batteries, electrical systems, drive trains, propellers and rudders.

solar cup Image courtesy of mwdh20

The weekend of racing culminates the students’ school-year commitment to learning about alternative energy, water conservation, sustainability, engineering and teamwork.

Solar Cup serves as an educational benchmark for our future workforce while students gain hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering and environmental sciences to round out their textbook curriculum. –Solar Cup coordinator Julie Miller, a state-certified teacher in Metropolitan’s education programs.

The competition begins with teams being put through a series of qualifying events by
Metropolitan and a technical advisory team from Harvey Mudd and Occidental colleges to ensure boats meet rules and are safe and seaworthy. The races will be followed by an awards ceremony, with trophies awarded in veteran and rookie divisions for teams with the highest points, as well as to teams honored for “Hottest-Looking Boat,” teamwork and sportsmanship.

Winners are the teams with the highest number of points gained in the competitions, technical inspections, submission of three technical reports and creation of a public service announcement focusing on water conservation.

Solar Cup 2012 PSA

Races are easily visible from the lake shoreline and are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission and parking. More local information is available here.

Event videos and photos from past Solar Cup events can be found under Education Programs at Metropolitan’s website, mwdh2o.com.

For a look back at the evolution of solar-powered boats, check out this article: “Firefly” — Solar-Powered Boat Putting Progress into a Modern Perspective

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About the Author

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, and graphic designer, constant student of many studies and founder of 1Sun4All.com. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing, the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution.



  • Wayne Williamson

    This is soo cool. I’m going to try to get something like this going in Tampa Florida….

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