CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University made it three titles in a row at the World Solar Splash Competition June 7-11 and it wasn’t close.
In winning it’s 10th overall title in the last 14 years, The CU team — which hosted the event at the Clark County Fairgrounds — amassed 956.42 points, 73.07 more than second-place Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and 262.42 ahead of third-place Carnegie Mellon. Twelve teams competed.
The Solar Slash competition attracts universities from throughout the United States and world to compete with their solar and electric boats that are built by college students. Solar Splash tests the engineering design and production skills of each team through a technical inspection and a series of on-water contests. Each team creates a piloted boat up to six meters long, powered by 480 watts of solar power with one kilowatt-hour of stored energy in batteries.
Teams earn points based on their performance in a qualifier, high-speed sprint race, long-endurance races and slalom event. The event judges also review technical reports submitted by each team, which factor into the final score.
“We are truly blessed to have had such great success,” said Dr. Timothy Dewhurst, senior professor of mechanical engineering. “Success is never guaranteed, even with a very good boat, anything can go wrong. We strive to be humble, friendly and have an attitude of service toward all participants and guests.”
In addition to the overall championship, Cedarville was first in the sprint, solar slalom, and solar endurance portions. It was second in the technical report, and third in qualifying and visual presentation. Cedarville tied for third in worksmanship. The team of seven earned perfect scores of in endurance (400), sprint (250), and slalom (100) and earned 88 of 90 possible points in the technical report.
“The value of this kind of competition is incredible,” Dewhurst said. “When you have to build what you design, you learn so much more. This type of competition greatly prepares students for industry by teaching them how to approach ‘open-ended’ problems for which there is no set solution.”
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.