Campus News

What's Going On in the Terrell Building?


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2009) -- Shhhhh… It's a secret.

One of the University of Kentucky's highest-profile projects led by students is under way in the D.V. Terrell Building. The phase-IV project, is being kept out of the light of day -- but without sunshine, there's no way it can succeed.

The project is Gato Del Sol IV, the next version of the UK solar car being built by students in several College of Engineering departments in anticipation of the 2010 North American Solar Challenge.

And this version, says team manager Sam Nicaise, has the potential of maintaining speeds to put it among the race's top contenders.

"We're making it lighter and sleeker, with more power and more powerful lithium-polymer batteries," says Nicaise, who is majoring in electrical engineering.

Actually, what's hidden in the Terrell Building is a starter foam mold of Gato Del Sol IV's body. In the next few weeks, a fiberglass mold of this mold will be made, with the second mold to be used to make the final body.

Only after the body is ready and the motor tinkered with will the team unveil the newest version of UK's solar car.

Until then, campus and community groups across the state will continue to be treated to the most successful UK solar car created to date: Gato Del Sol III, which was the first UK solar car ever to complete the Great American Solar Challenge and which came in second at this summer's Formula Sun Grand Prix.