When life gives you 1,232 lemons, grab a homemade zip line and some energy from the sun and build a solar-powered mega car that crushes track records. At least that’s what former NASA engineer Mark Rober decided to do. And it worked.
On assignment from Volkswagen, Rober was tasked with harnessing energy to charge their supercar at the annual Pike’s Peak race. He was originally inspired by a middle school-like science projects—powering a light bulb using a lemon. Lining up over a thousand lemons on metal ribs, he and fellow YouTube engineer William Osman were able to generate the world’s largest lemon battery.
It may have been the largest, but with the electricity to power only 2 laps around a track, they turned to other methods to fulfill their dream. That’s where the zip lines comes in. The team attached a battery to a zip line and relied on friction to charge it. Giving neighborhood kids a free zip line ride doubled as a few dozen battery charges. Unfortunately, the battery was still undercharged for the big race.
Rober explains that the sun powers everything we do. People eat plants, plants grow from photosynthesis, and the sun drives photosynthesis. What about wind power? Wind creates energy by turning massive wind turbines, but the heat caused from the sun allows wind to even exist. Basically, the sun is the source of all energy, so why not use it first? By attaching solar panels to his house, Rober was able to generate the remaining amount of energy for the award-winning supercar.
The car was put to the test. Not only did it win the race, but it crushed the track record by an entire 15 seconds.
Many think that renewable energy is an inefficient way to power everyday activities. However, Rober and Osman proved that renewable energy sources are a powerful and reliable way to generate energy. It is cost effective, reusable, and guilt-free. If power from the sun has the capacity to charge a supercar, it can most definitely charge your dishwasher or television. Whether you’ve explored solar options or not, solar power is the best way to power a home. Click here for a free quote.