A fast-paced, solar-powered train car is set to enter the local library

On Steam Boat Slow Road in Southern Sonoma County, dairy cows are used to the noise of long and heavy freight trains passing through the Northwest Pacific tracks, but they all turn their heads to see Friday as a thin, short and quiet solar train. She slipped.

On Saturday, they were watching the team’s experimental races behind a green power bid to set a new Guinness World Record.

The team, led by Sonoma resident Eric Houston and his friend Marco Fuci de Napoli, wants to test not only new entries but also open questions in the popular record book. Going to storage?

“We wanted to do something good for the planet with green, renewable energy,” said Napoli, now 43 years old and living in Hawaii.

Their 42-foot, 10-foot-wide train is powered by a total of 23 55 volts of solar panels and is expected to reach 25 miles on Saturday.

But at Google, former software engineer Napoli and general integration company Houston hope to double the size of the train – and power – to 65 miles per hour.

The bid for the Guinness Book of Records is said to be the first of its kind – it was invented four years ago when two people met on Mount View Bar.

Napoli also claimed that their own solar-powered train was the first of its kind. It does not rely on any stored energy from the charging stations, but instead converts all the energy from the sun on the go.

That power is fed through an electric vehicle converter kit, which then stimulates the set of wheels that drive the train, at a maximum capacity of three passengers.

The 45-year-old Houston, who flew in from Napoli and Houston on Saturday, said the goal was to test the upper boundary of solar energy as a means of transport.

He said the two technology-minded partners, each with an engineering background and dedicated to renewable energy, also want to have fun and pursue a major engineering challenge.

“Musicians play jazz,” says Houston. “It’s like a jazz engineer.

Friday’s test of the northwest Pacific Railway began at Napoli’s Louisville Depot south of Somma, with Napoli, Houston and their team conducting security tests before Saturday.

An obvious problem in their time? Napoli estimates that wildfires will fill the Gulf of Aden with sunlight and reduce solar energy by about 30%.

Not suitable for the first entry in the record book, but even if it is the first.

“It may be a ridiculous report, but we will take what we find and what the sun gives us tomorrow,” said Hemuston.

The self-sustaining project for both hobbies so far includes a team of volunteer engineers, electricians and brake specialists. The next step will be to find sponsors, says Napoli.

The solar train came to life in a meeting outside the Shellville Depot, with double doors, twisted doors, uneven floors, cracked slick paint, and notes from the historic NWP company.

The solar train is not a technical train, but a train because it does not pull anything, said Ryan M. Martin, general manager of NWP. But a “train” works for all purposes.

Martin Napole and Houston, a train enthusiast, said they were shocked when they first showed their differences and how much they had invested in their registration goal. They arrived in the Northwest Pacific months ago because the truck was near a floral goat warehouse.

Years ago, in the early stages of engineering and testing, Martin’s train looked like a ping pong table with an IKEA chair in the middle.

Now, it looks like a Star Wars aircraft, he said. The seats are equipped with a running car.

Martin was tasked with ensuring that the solar vehicle was operating safely on the railroad tracks. This means that if the brakes fail, the brakes will need to be replaced. The team also confirmed the truck’s order to test on the Northwest Pacific Railroad.

Both Napoli and Houston said the best part of the trip was their first test run on a solar-powered roller coaster on August 6.

They did not anticipate the unevenness of the tracks and were relieved to see how the solar panels slide under stress as they traveled along the railway line.

Most of the Northwest Pacific line dates back to the early 20th century, but the part used by Napoli and Houston is young – since the 1940s. The popular line used to extend north as far as Eureka, but the cargo terminal is now in Windsor, where SMART is upgrading tracks for passenger trains.

On Friday, he said that sitting in the old Schevilleville Depot would reflect Napoli and Houston on their ingenuity and encourage them to work on the future of green-powered transportation.

Napoli said: “The best prize is one year on the road if we inspire him to win another record.”

You can contact Alana Minkler at 707-521-5224 or alana.minkler@pressdemocrat.com. @Alana_minkler on Twitter.

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