Daily Update 5/26/1999
Wednesday, May 26, 1999 New Lebanon, NY- Lebanon Valley Dragway, Empire State Plaza- Albany, NY Display, and Shaker Junior High School- Latham, NY
Everyone will be happy to know that the NJ Venturer has been ranked first overall in the hybrid category!
Michael Strizki (NJDOT), Team NJs Captain, was on hand to greet Dan Levy, an ABC (Channel 10-NY) anchor/reporter. Mike presented the NJ Venturer vehicle to Mr. Levy and explained in detail the various components of the vehicle.
There was a large welcome ceremony in front of the exquisite fountains that were in the courtyard. New York Governor George E. Pataki was there to receive a painting on behalf of NESEA to commemorate the vision of a sustainable future and the coming of the NESEA Tour to Albany. Governor Pataki made note that there is, "a new era of energy dawning." Some of the other speakers at the ceremony were: Gerald D. Jennings, Mayor of Albany, John Cahill, Commissioner, NYSDEC, and Nancy Hazard, Director, NESEA Tour.
Michael Strizki (NJDOT), Team NJs Captain, was on hand to also greet Matthew L. Wald, a Transportation Editor for The New York Times newspaper. Mike, Ken Kleinfelter (MG Industries), and Joe Ambrosio (Neocon Technologies, Inc.) presented the NJ Venturer vehicle to Mr. Wald and explained how our vehicle is the first of its kind ever on the highways and byways of this country.
The NJ Venturer provided an opportunity for students to learn about fuel cells and electric vehicles and how the integration of new technologies can help solve our future transportation and environmental challenges. Cassandra Kling (NJ Commerce and Economic Development Dept.) commented overall on the NJ Venturer project. "This project represents a new future for the New Jersey economy and environment. The NJ Venturer has proven that the technologies to develop extremely clean vehicles are on the horizon, and represent a huge opportunity for job creation and economic development as they commercialize."
The vehicles then began the second half of the fourth leg of the tour as everyone made their way to Shaker Junior High School in Latham, NY. Similar to last night, this leg of the tour was not timed. During a team technical meeting it was discussed whether the vehicle should be driven or simply towed for this leg. In general, this leg would not benefit our overall score. Technically it could slightly increase our efficiency, however any problems would surely lead to deductions or penalty points. Team NJ decided to "play it safe" and tow the vehicle from Empire State Plaza to the high school.
After dinner Mike held a short meeting to stress the magnitude of Range Day tomorrow. He told us, "that tomorrow is a very important day and it is imperative that team members work independently and be free thinkers." From the very start of the NJ Venturer design there were many different features that could be optimized. However, it was unanimously decided that the NJ Venturer was to attempt to break the distance record. Hence the current design was specifically optimized for Range Day.
During the technical meeting in the late evening, our proposed strategies for tomorrow were discussed. Some last minute modifications on the vehicle were required in order to maximize our efficiency. The Solectria motor controller in the NJ Venturer was modified to allow us to get more use out of our batteries, before this was done the batteries were only able to drain down to about thirty percent. This was due to the fact that the controller was designed for lead acid batteries. However, our retrofitted vehicle which uses nickel metal hydride batteries would require the motor controller to be modified. The Solectria motor controller in the NJ Venturer was modified to allow us to utilize all of the energy available in our batteries.
Please check back tomorrow and keep following along with us on the 1999 NESEA Tour de Sol.
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