Carrier Corporation came to life Saturday, Oct. 29, as engineering teams from nearly half a dozen schools raced through the parking lot in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as part of the annual New York State Electrathon competition.
Cicero-North Syracuse High School co-hosted the event with Carrier Corporation, however Cazenovia High School took top honors. Having participated in several NY Electrathon races in the past, the Cazenovia Technology Department has been making a name for itself as a top competitor in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle marathons; the school’s engineering team has had cars in competitions across the country.
“Electrathon is not a race about speed, but rather efficiency. The goal is to see how many laps you can make in exactly one hour. Cars are designed and built by high school students,” Cazenovia technology teacher Chris Hurd said. “Most cars have two car batteries, and average about 35 mph. Cars can reach speeds of up to 65 mph with the right gears.”
According to NYElectrathon.com, a site run by Hurd and his students, the goal of the Electrathon is to provide a learning experience that will build public awareness of the capabilities and potential of efficient electric vehicles. Developed around specific rules designed to keep cost down and competition high, these unique vehicles offer an opportunity and challenge to experiment, learn and compete.
Electrathon vehicles are single-person, lightweight, aerodynamic, high- efficiency, electric vehicles powered by gel-cell battery packs weighing under 67 pounds. They have to have brakes, a five-point harness and can be built from scratch or from a kit. The local company GHD helped fund the two Cazenovia entries this year, sponsoring the students and donating the money needed to buy materials and equipment.
Student engineering teams from across the state built cars that were then transported to Carrier for the race event on Saturday. In addition to Cazenovia, engineering teams from Baldwinsville, Oneida, C-NS and West Genesee participated in the event.