Renewable energy | Ecotrope

Oregon State's exploding solar-powered car

Ecotrope | July 18, 2011 2:46 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:36 p.m.

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A team of solar-powered car innovators at OSU is now looking at rebuilding after their work in progress blew up over the weekend. The driver survived but was burned in the blaze.

A team of solar-powered car innovators at OSU is now looking at rebuilding after their work in progress blew up over the weekend. The driver survived but was burned in the blaze.

An Oregon State University student is recovering from burns, KEZI News is reporting, after his solar-powered car blew up over the weekend in Corvallis.

The Eugene station report indicates the young man driving the vehicle, Nicolas Sitts, was treated at the hospital and released to recover from first- and second-degree burns, which he said felt like a sunburn. On the KEZI video, Sitts looks like he came out of the mishap in fairly good shape.

Even if the kid is alright, it’s another story for the OSU solar team’s $100,000 vehicle. It was completely destroyed. Fellow OSU solar team members told KEZI News said they suspect a short in the battery. They’re hoping donors will come through to help them rebuild a new model.

No video of the actual explosion has surfaced so far. But the news station’s video includes photos that capture the huge flames that reduced the vehicle to scraps. I can’t help but wonder if images on the Web of an exploding solar-powered vehicle prove to be a setback to development efforts on this front.

Here’s what the car looked like before the explosion:

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