‘Nergy was put on display at the Adler Planetarium in 2008.
‘Nergy is the solar electric car engineered by members of The Northwestern Solar Car Team to compete in the 2001 American Solar Challenge, a 10 day 2300 mile race from Chicago to L.A. along historic Route 66. 45 national and international collegiate teams entered the competition, 30 of which were qualified. Although Northwestern was a rookie team, ‘Nergy succeeded in finishing 26th.
After spending a year on the design, it took the team a little over 7 months and $75,000 to construct ‘Nergy. With 4 lead acid truck batteries, a chromaly steel frame, and a carbon fiber-nomex-kevlar shell, it weighed a little under 1000 pounds, which is quite heavy in solar car standards. 498 silicon solar cells generated an average of 700 watts, which powered the car at an average speed of 25 mph.