Daily Update 5/28/1999

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Friday, May 28, 1999 Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY), Lake George, NY- Fort William Henry

After a very busy night, Team NJ awoke to blue skies and what was to be an exceptionally warm day as everyone prepared themselves for the final day of the race. After leaving Skidmore College (the starting point for the last leg), the NJ Venturer was then off beautiful Lake George, NY to complete its sixth and final leg of the race. Team NJ's display booth was set up in front of the Fort William Henry Hotel overlooking Lake George.

It was a picturesque afternoon for Team NJ as we greeted visitors at our display booth in the bustling resort town of Lake George. NESEA volunteers for the day were Sabrina Terrizi, Chris Meyer, John Aabdollah, Brad Horton, and Peter Clark all from Hunterdon Central.

Before the Autocross event, a handling test consisting of two timed laps (a figure eight and a circle) around a track with cones, Michael Strizki (NJDOT), Team NJ’s Captain and John Foster (H-Power) drank the water from the steam emissions given off by the fuel cell to prove the NJ Venturer is really a clean and safe vehicle.

The event, organized by the Mohawk Hudson Sports Car Club of America, began at 1:30 p.m. Thomas Thompson, Executive Director, NESEA, Bob Blais, Mayor of the Village of Lake George, Sam Luciano, Fort William Henry, and Nancy Hazard, NESEA Tour wished all the teams well during the Autocross Start ceremony. Joe Ambrosio (Neocon) drove the NJ Venturer during the event. "The car handled great. Through this event, Team NJ learned how to improve the vehicle, how to design a vehicle around the fuel cell, and learned how to integrate fuel cell components in a hybrid category better," Joe said.

Since this is the official last day of the race, some Team NJ members had a few final thoughts. Vladimir Brunstein (Advanced Power Associates) said, it was quite exciting to be a part of this project. This event has a good goal, it is good for the future, there was great team spirit, and it builds up alliances. It is amazing how people converge and one complex product is produced. Business opportunities prevail that benefit everybody."

Alan Attia (H-Power) said, "people were ready and willing to help with this project and that has been very useful. H-Power learned a lot. One thing we learned was how to optimize for a vehicle of this type."

Joe Barbetta (Recon) designed the controller for the fuel cell. "The primary function of the controller is to control the pressurized flow of air to the fuel cell. The fuel cell generates the electricity controlling the air pump speed to provide the correct amount of air to the fuel cell," Joe said.

Oliver Perry (Cinnaminson), Team Cinnaminson High School's Captain for their vehicle entrant in the commuter category, said, "we got off to a very rough start, a lot of things went wrong. I'm very pleased with how the Cinnaminson team worked hard. The vehicle did well, but we got beat by better cars. A lot of improvements should have been made. I am a little sad because Ben Fratto (Rowan University) put so much time into it. We wanted to take on other teams."

NESEA held a reception for teams, volunteers, sponsors, and staff at the Adirondack Showcase at the conference center. Team NJ enjoyed the splendidly decorated surroundings and scrumptious pasta, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. Please tune in soon for the outcome of the 1999 NESEA Tour de Sol, which will include information on the Awards Ceremony.

Please send comments and suggestions to szary@civeng.rutgers.edu.