September 2015 WSC team status update
By Marlies, Nigel, Judith, Charith and Keno
With just 18 days to go until the start of the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge it’s time for a team status update! Lots of stuff happened over the past couple of months, more cars have been completed and unveiled, tested and shipped halfway round the world and the early teams are already in Australia.
The activity and race preparations are starting to ramp up. So what have the teams been up to?
Let’s start off with the Challenger class first. The colour codes of Green, Orange, Red shows the status that each the team was at in our last update in May of this year, green being very likely to make it to Australia.
Adelaide University Solar Racing Team (GREEN)
Photo credit: Jess Tran, AUSRT. Adelaide Team testing their car at a circuit in Adelaide.
Based only a stone’s throw from the finish line, the home team which was only founded at the end of 2013 have been inspired to take part in the World Solar Challenge themselves for the first time this year. Their car has come together nicely with build work being finished towards the end of August and the first roll out under its own power earlier this month. This facebook post shows they’ve begun testing at a track in Adelaide. Their newsletter shows they had to abandon their carbon fibre wheel developments for this race cycle, but have ambitions for future races. Looking forward to how they will perform in their debut WSC.
Anadolu Solar Team (GREEN)
Anadolu is a team that have made rapid progress over the past couple of years. Moving from the Adventure class in 2013 to the Challenger class this year, the team has evolved their design to a symmetric 4 wheel car with the driver in the middle. The build quality looks high and with their car Sunatolia’2 already being proven in the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa last year where they came second to defending champions Nuon, they will be aiming to build upon the reliability to place highly in WSC 2015.
Antakari Solar Team (GREEN)
The Antakari team from Chile are team with the ability to do well at WSC this year. With recent racing experience, coming second in their home race at the Carrera Solar Atacama in Chile last October, losing out to Tokai. They will be looking to build on their progress for WSC15.
They are one of the best teams for sharing their build process, however they are very slow to do so. This photo album documenting the entire build of their previous car IK3(seen above) was released six months after the race.
So far, the only news of their WSC car IK4 is that they started construction in June. There has been no news of when the car or team are shipping to Australia. Of more concern is the recent earthquake and tsunami which struck very close to the team’s home in La Serena and we must hope that the team, their families and friends are all ok.
Beijing Institute of Technology
Photo Credit : Bejing Institute of Technology
Just as in 2013 this Chinese team are keeping us all in the dark. The only clue that we have about their car “Sun Shuttle” is from the render posted with their WSC team profile. Their renders are very accurate, right down to the very colourful decor, so I would expect the car to look very much like this.
This team has no web presence that I can find so if anyone sees the car in Australia before or during the race please take a photo and post it for us. This article from 2013 has the best collection of photos that I’ve found of the team and their first car in Australia.
Just before posting, we discovered this link from Bridgestone of the Asia / Pacific team they sponsor. Finally, we have news from Beijing team. They have managed to reduce their car’s total mass 30% compared to 2013 and are aiming to be reliable enough to complete the full 3000km. Looking forward to finding out more from this team.
Cambridge University Eco Racing (GREEN)
Photo credit Dom Brown, CUER
Following a summer of development, this timelapse video shows the Cambridge team earlier packing their car for Australia at the beginning of this month. Their social media channels show both the car and team are now travelling up toward Darwin from Adelaide where they had been getting to know other teams and upgraded their roll bars in the workshop. The did some testing at Alice Springs Inland Dragway.
Their car Evolution appears to be an evolution of the 2013 design philosophy which though a daring departure from traditional designs, Resolution was plagued with stability problems and had to withdraw from the last race. Evolution looks to be lower, wider and hopefully more stable than her older sister. Evolution is one of the few cars in this year’s field that isn’t asymmetrical, and it will be interesting to see how she performs compared to the others.
Photo Credits: Cambridge University Eco Racing, CUER
EAFIT-EPM Solar Car Team (GREEN)
Photo credit: EAFIT-EPM Solar Team
The Colombian team, EAFIT-EPM seem to be well prepared for their second attempt at WSC, their car was seen driving in convoy the roads in Columbia as early as June for their launch. Though their social media channels have been quiet in terms of development details, the message from their blog seems to suggest the team and vehicle will soon be on their way to Australia, aiming to arrive 3 weeks before the competition starts. This really is a team to watch this race. As one of the only 3 teams to develop concentrators in 2013 (their debut WSC), they may just have an ace up their sleeve this time round.
EcoPhoton Solar Team (GREEN)
Photo Credit: Eco Photon Team
The EcoPhoton team is a relatively young team from Malaysia. Inspired by a visit to their friends at UMP Solar team, they have gone from design to testing in under a year. Their car called “Sting Ray” has a really eye catching metallic colour scheme. Could this be for practical purposes of reflecting the hot Australian sun to keep components cool? Or is it simply to look cool? Either way we like it!
Their design is similar to the Nuon inspired Catamaran concept and for a debutant team, their build quality looks quite high. From their social channels, their car is currently en-route to Australia. I haven’t been able to see evidence of much testing yet and reliability is key to WSC success but looking forward to see how this new team will fare.
Futuro Solare Onlus (GREEN)
Photo Credit: Futura Solar Onlus.
The Futuro Solar Onlus team did not make it to the WSC Team List this time, perhaps we will see them in 2017. This video shows how much development effort they had put in.
Goko High School (GREEN)
Goko High School from Japan have changed class since the last challenge. From Cruiser Class to Challenger class.
They have also, we think, changed teams! Whilst the information is rather hazy, this high school fields two teams at Suzuka and the car “Musoushin” appears to belong to a different team than the one that competed last time. The car performed fairly well at Suzuka managing an average speed of 63 km/h which, if maintained, would be enough to finish the WSC in the time available.
Unfortunately we cannot find any web presence for this second team so we have no idea when or where it will turn up. If anyone knows of a facebook page or website please let us know – ZDP??.
Jönköping University Solar Team (GREEN)
Photo Credit: Jonkoping University Solar Team, 2015 Challenger
Photo Credit: Jonkoping University Solar Team, 2013 Challenger
The Jonkoping team have learned lessons from from their 2013 car which have been refined in their 2015 car. Unconventionally to the field, they have gone for a thick wing type aerofoil design rather than the thinner Tokai/Nuon style array wing. That being said, Stanford placed 4th last year and they had a thick wing section vehicle design.
The Jonkoping team seem to be one of the teams that have done a fair amount of testing. Testing pictures exist as early as late June/early July with sessions at the race track and even at Jonkoping airport!
This video shows the team packed their vehicle about 10 days ago to send to Australia so will soon be on ground.
Kanazawa Institute of Technology Solar Car Project (GREEN)
The Kanazawa team have built an very innovative car. They look to have hinged their solar panel at the right hand side, which is held still by rods to assist during charging whilst stationary, quite an elegant and simple solution to the regulation that prevents the team from holding the panel during charging.
Our favourite bit of technology though is their 4 Wheel Steering system. This video from August show them testing their car’s innovative 4 Wheel Steering system, allowing them to achieve a tighter radius turns without increasing the size of the fairings. How this affects stability at higher speed driving is not immediately clear. We suspect that their front steering is more dominant than the rear. Will be interesting to speak to the team and learn how it works.
From their posts it is not clear as to whether they are in Japan or Australia at the moment. We are hoping they will post more frequent update during the build up to the race.
Kookmin University Solar Car Team (GREEN)
Photo credit: Kookmin University Solar Car.
The Kookmin University Solar Car Team (KUST) from South Korea have built a catamaran-style solar car. This team are one of the best Asian teams for posting updates! We’d like them to encourage other teams from Asia to publish just as frequently.
Their car “Baek-Ho”, which means White Tiger, was launched at the beginning of August and appears to have undergone some good testing in South Korea, including on public roads. Their car shipper shipped earlier this month and is enroute to Darwin, via Singapore.
The first team members will arrive on ground on the 4th of October. Looking forward to their future updates.
Photo credit: MegaLux Facebook
The MegaLux team of Hungary is competing in the WSC for the first time. Previously, the team already participated in the Shell Ecomarathon. Their solar car ‘MegaLux’ is a nice, well-built car in catamaran style. Also from the inside the car looks very neat and well-built.
Photo credit: MegaLux Facebook
The solar array seems to consists of the ‘regular’ SunPower monocrystalline cells, with a Gochermann coating on top of it. The cockpit is made in the Tokai style which features a complete transparent canopy.
(Photo credit: MegaLux solar team Facebook)
The driver is located on the left and the wheel fairing topology is equal to the Nuon team: two large fairings. Remarkably however is that the wheel fairings are located quite in the front of the car and have a indentation in the middle of the fairing, where no wheels are located. Is this an aerodynamic trick? We do not know (yet), but what we can see from the pictures is that this team managed to build a very nice first solar car.
At the moment, the car is being shipped to Australia. According to the team their car is now somewhere between Singapore and Darwin and will hopefully arrive soon.
In the meantime the team has already practised the qualification at the Hidden Valley Racing Track in a racing simulator. They even mirrored their car in this simulation, which is really cool. Watch the Youtube video showing the MegaLux Hidden Valley simulation here or just press the play button below!
MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team (GREEN)
Photo credit: MIT SEVT
MIT is a team with a high engineering pedigree. Based on this blog the team drove their car cross country to Detroit (Michigan’s home turf), racking ups some serious test miles and experience. Their most recent activity before shipping was some aerodynamic testing in a full scale wind tunnel. Their car, Arcturus, has been shipped and is currently in Auckland, New Zealand and will soon to be enroute to Sydney.
NITech Solar Car Club (GREEN)
(Photo credit: NITech Solar Car Club)
The NITech Solar Car Club seems to bring their Suzuka car to Australia. The car got a new paint job and also the solar array is changed: new solar cells and it looks like they have used two different types of laminate. I think I spotted some SunCat panels at the front part of the car.
Near the end of August they performed some last tests on an airfield and at the moment the car on its way to Australia.
Nuon Solar Team (GREEN)
(photo credits: Photographer, Nuon Solar Team)
The Nuon Solar Team from Delft University of Technology has managed to build a neat car again for this 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Last edition, they were one of the few with the so-called catamaran-style configuration of the wheel covers and cockpit. Thier success seems to have influenced the field this year with many teams adopting this design philosophy, most notably their rivals Tokai and Michigan. In contrast to the Twente team, which have a good explanation of their fairing philosophy. It remains a very interesting and challenging topic which configuration is aerodynamically seen as the optimal one.
The Nuon Solar Team seemed to pose an evolution of their previous Nuna7 car. The first optical differences are the position of the wheel fairings and the cockpit: this year the rules allow for a more rearward position, which seems to be an aerodynamic advantage. Furthermore, the height of the car is much lower compared to the Nuna7 car. Also the weight of the car has improved: they managed to lower the weight by roughly 20 kg.
This year will be a very exciting race, as Nuon look to defend their title with their main challenge probably coming from Tokai, Michigan, Twente and Stanford. But i wouldn’t rule out a challenge from some of the less known teams who have worked hard to up their game.
The Nuon Solar Team is in Australia since the 3rd of September. During their first weekend in Australia they started their trip-up from Adelaide to Darwin. During the trip-up several racing procedures were practised, and the team also visited Uluru. They shortened their trip-up with a few days since their flight case had arrived earlier than planned. However, due to the strike and other challenges with customs, it took them a whole week to get their car released. However, during this week the workshop and all other facilities have been prepared well, and from now on the team is putting the final touch on their good looking car.
(photo credits: Nuon Solar Team)
The team is traditionally based at Nightcliff Primary School in the northern part of Darwin, where they have a so-called ‘shed’ to work on their car and a designated classroom as an office. During its stay the team plays soccer with the kids and also provides some lessons about engineering and Nuna to make the youngster enthusiastic about technology and sustainability.
(Photo credit: Punch Powertrain Solar Team)
Last weekend, the team had a BBQ with the teams of Twente, Eindhoven and Punch Powertrain at the beach of Darwin.
Principia Solar Car (GREEN)
Photo credit: Principia’s Ra9 in Abu Dhabi – January 2015
Photo credit: Principia, at FSGP 2015
Principia Solar Car team packed their car Ra9 off to Australia at the end of July so they used their older car Ra7 at Formula Sun GP where they finished in fifth place. Ra9 was placed 6th in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge and they were the first team to finish with no penalties. Two team members are travelling to meet the car at the end of September with the rest of the team leaving home 9th October.
Punch Powertrain Solar Team (GREEN)
Photo Credit: Punch Powertrain Solar Team
The Belgian team have arrived in Darwin this video shows what they’ve been up to whilst patiently waiting for their car to arrive. Making the most of the occasion, the team have been enjoying a break with visits to a National Park and some jumping crocodiles. Their car has just arrived and they are in their first days in the workshop now.
RVCE Solar Car Team (GREEN)
The RVCE Team from India appear to have been hard at work, though a bit quiet in terms of social channels and website. Their most recent post shows them meeting with Mr Narayan Murthy who wished them good luck. They also appear to have done some test driving by their account, though no pictures seem to exist of their car SoleBlaze. As a relatively new team, we would interested to see how they get on. Has anyone seen what their car looks like?
Solar Team Twente (GREEN)
Photo credits: Solar Team Twente
Twente Solar team are one of the ones to watch this race. After a solid 3rd place performance in 2013, they will be keen to push for a higher place finish on the podium this year. Their vehicle appears to be asymmetric in design more similar in concept to Tokai’s challenger in 2013 than Nuon’s car. With the bubble canopy and separate fairings on the left side, as compared to the Nuon catamaran concept. The devil is in the details so which concept is best will be down to the details, an exciting race ahead.
From the team’s latest vlog, they and their car, Red One, appear to have arrived in Australia, and they have even taken time to have a barbeque on the beach in Darwin with the other teams.
Solaris Güneş Arabası Ekibi (GREEN)
Aka, Team Solaris are a team from Turkey who have moved from the Adventure class in 2013 to the Challenger class for 2015. Their symmetric car could be seen driving in July. The team have spent a couple of days in Melbourne so far and their car looks to have arrived yesterday.
Photo credits: Solaris Güneş Arabası Ekibi
Stanford Solar Car Project (GREEN)
The Stanford Solar Car Project came in 4th in last edition of the WSC. This was of course encouraging and now the team set off for a higher ranking, by making this nice asymmetric car called ‘Arctan’. This team also has adopted the catamaran style with the cockpit on the right-hand side. If we take a look to the bottom side of the car, it is hard to see but it does not seem that the team has applied any aerodynamic tricks to reduce the ‘tunnel effect’ of their car, in contrast to the Nuon team. The car is neatly built and is definitely a competitor to the Twente team and the other teams.
At the moment, the team is in Australia and reunited with their car in Adelaide. Their recent blog shows they have been testing a lot near between Glendambo and the border.
Team Arrow (GREEN)
(Photo credit: Clenergy Team Arrow)
The Australian Team Arrow finished at a 7th place in the 2013 WSC with their car Arrow. This year, they will bring this car again to Darwin, with a different name ‘Arrow 1 GT’. The team found a new main sponsor Clenergy, and their car got a shiny new paint job. Where last year the asymmetric cars were in the minority, this year Clenergy Team Arrow’s car will be one of the few cars with 4 fairings and a separate cockpit.
UKZN Solar Car (GREEN)
Credit: UKZN Solar Team
UKZN competed at the SASOL Solar Challenge last year where they were involved in a titanic battle with fellow South Africans NWU for third place. They eventually finished 57 km ahead of NWU which was a great achievement considering that technical issues meant they lost the first 1½ days of racing. Without these problems they might well have challenged Anadolu for second place!
There is no news of where their car “Hulamin” is but with team members starting to arrive in Adelaide this weekend we might assume that it is there.
Throughout September they have been using their facebook page to introduce their team.
University of Michigan Solar Car Team (GREEN)
(Photo credit: The University of Michigan Solar Car Team)
After their 2013 edition, which some would argue fell below Michigan’s own standard, Michigan seems to be back on track with well-built car, called ‘Aurum’. The car features a catamaran style configuration with two long wheel fairings. At a first sight, there are a few remarkable design choices: the shape of the solar array seems to be very thin. After the leading edge, the curvature does not particularly increase anymore. The wheel fairings seem to be quite high, but this could be an optical illusion because of the slim size of the solar array. Furthermore, the cockpit of the car is literally outstanding, as you can see in the picture below. The right-hand shoulder of the driver is more-or-less located above the road, which seems to me very exciting for the driver. Of course such design choices do have particular reasons. One of the reasons mentioned elsewhere is that in this way the width of the car is reduced, hereby ensuring the solar array can be put next to the wheel fairing during static charging. If so, looks like no rules are violated with respect to the height of the static charging box.
As opposed to Generation (their 2013 WSC car), the driver is now located on the right-hand side.
An insider from a competitor has remarked that the laminate used as an antireflective coating for the solar panles seems to differ from last year as well. It looks slightly similar to the SunCat coating Nuon used on their Nuna7 car, which would be a very interesting competitive choice. The coating can really make a difference in your harvest of energy and thus potentially shorten your racing time.
Another aspect, is despite their attempts to keep their concentrators under wraps, we haven’t been able to see any photos or mention so far, the name of Semprius in their list of sponsors is actually quite revealing, having provided the concentrators for Nuon in 2013. How exactly and if they are going to use these is not completely clear. But at least they seem to have collected some possible game changers to start the competition with!
A brief comment from a Michigan insider shows the steps they are taking to break the “Curse of Third”:
“We’re currently testing in South Australia, between Glendambo and the border. Ran into Stanford here too. We had some issues with battery importing, but we made another pack in Adelaide. Other than that, things have been going well – getting our drivers used to high winds and the team ready to compete in the Outback.”
They seem to be doing all the right thing to give themselves the best possible shot at victory. In a 3,000km race, reliability is key.
(Photo credit: The University of Michigan Solar Car Team)
University of Toronto Blue Sky Solar Racing (GREEN)
(Photo credit: University of Toronto Blue Sky Solar Racing)
Blue Sky Solar Racing has built their 8th car to compete with in the World Solar Challenge. This time, team of the University of Toronto has also made the switch from a symmetric car to a catamaran-style one. In contrast to their previous car, where the cockpit was located at the very front of the car, the team decided to locate it actually more on the rearward part of the car. The car counts two large wheel fairings and from the pictures on their website the team seems to have adopted the structure underneath the solar array from Nuna7:
At the moment, the team is in Australia and reunited with their car. They are now driving up from Adelaide to Darwin.
UWS Solar Car Project (GREEN)
Photo credit: University of Western Sydney Solar Team
The University of Western Sydney have launched their Unlimited a few weeks ago and even got featured in Sunrise news. The team also appear to have become increasingly capable of producing good PR material and videos with amazing graphics compared to 2013.
However, the main criticism we have is that we have yet to properly see any photos of their car. There was a computer render near the beginning of the project on their website, but beyond that the picture shown above is the most we have seen.
Durham University Electric Motorsport (ORANGE)
Durham are another British solar car team entering the World Solar Challenge this year. After withdrawing from the 2013 WSC relatively early in the race cycle, they have restructured their team by combining it with the Formula Student team, enabling them to share resources and people. It’s good to seem them coming back stronger and having another British team in the event. They unveiled their car at a launch event in August this year. They have been relatively quiet in terms of updates.
If anyone has any updates or more recent pictures of the car, please get in touch with us
Hélios Solar Car Team (ORANGE)
The Helios Solar team were given a status of orange in our last update in May. Unfortunately they are another team that did not make it to the official WSC Team List. Perhaps 2017 will be their year.
NWU Solar Car (ORANGE)
Northwest University will be joining UKZN as the first African teams to compete at WSC, NWU bring their car “Sirius X25”.
Despite losing third place at the SASOL Solar Challenge on an exciting final day the team did have the consolation of setting the record for the longest distance travelled in a single day by a South African team – 416 km.
Their car arrived in Sydney in early September and the first team members arrive 6th October. NWU tend to update using YouTube videos and in this one they start their WSC story .
Tokai University (GREEN)
(Photo credit: Tokai University Solar Car Team)
The team from Tokai University has again built a car in a very neat way. Every part of the car looks so good, so smooth. Compared to the 2013 car, the driver is located much more rearward this time. Furthermore, the team changed the wheel fairing configuration: instead of two small wheel fairings at the right-hand side of the car they have chosen to use one larger fairing, in what is now nicknamed the Nuon catamaran configuration. Another difference with their previous car is that the solar array looks very thin, which we have seen before (for instance with the UM solar car). Tokai also seems to try to diminish the tunnel effect created by the two large wheel fairings. At the leading edge of the wheel fairings, just below the solar array, small holes are located. What are these? Probably vents to provide some cooling to the driver and the electronics? Talking about electronics, in this presentation some details are given about the solar cells. Although Japanese is not my mother tongue, it seems that they are either using the 25.6% R&D HIT cells and that the overall array efficiency is estimated at 23.2%. Anyway, HIT cells are attractive for their temperature properties; the losses due to an increase in temperature are less than for the monocrystalline (SunPower) cells. With Panasonic as a main sponsor, the team will probably have the best solar cells available on the planet, most probably beating the SunPower cells in terms of efficiency. Moreover, Panasonic is also provider of lithium-ion batteries, and it is expected that the Tokai team will also have access to the best battery cells. The car is driven by a Mitsuba motor with an efficiency of 98%.
At this moment, it is not completely clear if the team is already on its way to Australia or if the car is already being shipped. From the 2013 WSC we know that the team arrived relatively late (just one or two weeks before the Race); probably this is also the case this year.
They are known for playing their card to their chest and not saying much, hopefully they will share a bit more this year. They might be helped by the fact that The Zero To Darwin Project, a Japanese blogger, is running with the team this time.
Siam Tech 1
This Thai team is another team that came out of left field, our first knowledge of them being from the WSC Team List.
This video introduces the team and shows the support that they are getting from their university. They have made a good first attempt at the Challenger class and their car, STC1, is a symmetrical 5 pod configuration. Their build quality is on par to what we would expect of a debutant, but we are looking forward to see how they perform this year.
Their facebook page shows the team at various stages of construction and this picture shows them loading their car to be shipped to Australia. Good luck to Siam Tech in their debut race. Keep up the updates!
Solar Team Slovakia (RED)
The team seems to be hiring new team members, but is not participating in the 2015 WSC
ITS Solar Car Racing Team (GREEN)
ITS team by all accounts still appear to be in Indonesia, launching their vehicle called “Widya Wahana V” earlier this week. They have had an intense period of testing to better understand their vehicle’s performance. This recently released video shows their car cruising on the streets of Indonesia as well as a behind the scenes view of the manufacture. It will be an interesting competitor in the Cruiser Class.
ITU Solar Car Team (GREEN)
ITU Solar Team from Turkey have released a four door cruiser making it one of the few four seat cars in the Cruiser Class. It is a beautiful sporty looking car that was launched in late August.
Hoping to get in touch with this team to have more information for the next update.
IVE Solar Car (GREEN)
IVE solar team from Hong Kong have developed a two seat cruiser. Their social channels suggest they have been doing a fair amount of testing, though more pictures and videos from testing would be nice to see.
This video shows that they shipped their car at the end of August.
Kogakuin University Solar Vehicle Project (GREEN)
The Kogakuin team from Tokyo, Japan were one of the more original designs in 2013. True to form, they have produced an original looking vehicle this year. A sleek catamaran style two seat cruiser class vehicle.
The team have shipped their vehicle and left for Australia Yesterday. Exciting to follow their progress and we hope they keep up the updates.
Lodz Solar Team (GREEN)
Along with the Megalux team Lodz, from Poland, are the first Central European teams at WSC.
Lodz have produced this interesting car called Eagle One.
The car looks like a two seater “Stella” but with no seats in the back the roof can slope at a much steeper angle.
Eagle One has been despatched to Australia along with some very nice red flight cases which the team made themselves.
Solar Team Eindhoven (GREEN)
After the big success of Stella (WSC-wise and PR-wise), Solar Team Eindhoven has built a new family solar car ‘Stella Lux’. Stella Lux looks quite similar to Stella, with the major optical difference the large tunnel crossing from the front up to the rear of the car. This tunnel should ensure a reduced frontal area, i.e. reduced aerodynamic drag. Furthermore, the wind screen seems to be tilted in order to allow the air to flow more smoothly over the car. THe transition from wind screen to solar panel however seems to be quite abrupt. The Eindhoven team clearly compromises between solar energy income and aerodynamics, and also comfort/passenger capacity. The car is very suitable to carry 4 persons and also fits quite some shopping bags, as we can see from the picture ;-). Moreover, the car is allowed to drive on the Dutch public roads, which is really cool.
At the moment, the team is staying in Australia for a few weeks now. Their car has arrived and also the battery pack is in Australia. The latter has become quite a challenge for multiple teams, as airlines are not so willing to transport lithium-X batteries anymore. For that reason, the Eindhoven team had to disassemble their battery package prior to shipping. After re-assembling it in Australia, the team is ready to test it in the Australian heat.
SolarCar Projekt | Hochschule Bochum (GREEN)
Hochschule Bochum Solar Car Team has built a stunning cruiser solar car. Their car, ThyssenKrupp SunRiser is the sixth car the team has constructed. In contrast to most of the cruiser cars, this car is featured by a 3 m^2 solar array consisting of Gallium Arsenide solar cells coated with a laminate of Gochtermann Solar Technology. The solar cells are provided by Azur Space and have a maximum effiicency of 29.2%. From the specs of the car it is not entirely clear if this is the overall array efficiency or just the solar cell efficiency. I would think that Gallium Arsenide cells are able to reach a higher cell efficiency, more towards 39.2% rather than 29.2%. It could also be that the team is using cells from previous cars, as Gallium Arsenide cells are extremely expensive (about 50,000 euros per m^2). Anyway, with this choice of solar array, the team is able to maintain an aerodynamic roof. In general the car looks very fast. And not only from the outside. Also the interior of the car looks stunning: it really aims to give you the experience of driving a sports car. (I could not trace back the pictures from the interior anymore, but at least from the following picture you can see that they even applied a wooden dashboard.) And if you take a look at the wheels from the side, it looks very sporty (although the small tyres always look a bit sulky from the front).
At this moment, the team is in Australia, teamed up with other teams for a BBQ. They also had their first test drive on the Australian roads. We are excited to follow the performance of this car in the 2015 WSC.
SunSpec Racing Team (GREEN)
The SunSpec Racing Team has built their SunSPEC 4 solar car to compete in the Cruiser Class. It is the first time the team from Singapore Polytechnic participates in the Cruiser Class. Previously, they competed in the Challenger Class with SunSPEC3. According to their Facebook page this car seats two passengers (from the pictures I presume it is 1 driver and 1 passenger). The solar array of the car is located at the nose of the car and on the rooftop. To me, it seems that the array on the nose will not receive a lot of sun rays during the day, as the angle of the panels with respect to the horizontal is quite large. However, thumbs up for this team from Singapore! After even facing a fire in their workshop they managed to finish their beautiful car. It looks well-built and aerodynamic, and we look forward to the competition!
From social media it is not clear if the team or the car have arrived Australia yet. We will keep an eye on their media channels and keep you up to date!
University of Calgary Solar Team (GREEN)
From their website and Facebook page we concluded that the University of Calgary Solar Team is not participating in the 2015 WSC.
University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project (GREEN).
The University of Minnesota is participating in the Cruiser Class for the second time with their car Eos. It seats two persons and compared to their previous car the car is more practical, according to the team’s website. Besides the 2015 WSC, they will also participate with this car in the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2016 and the 2016 ASC.
At the moment, the team is in Australia and just got their car cleared from customs in Adelaide.
University of Tehran (GREEN)
The Persian Gazelle team might well cause a stir in the Cruiser Class having unveiled a car that looks very much like a Challenger Class vehicle. The car, “Persian Gazelle III”, is however perfectly within the rules of the class if not, perhaps, the spirit. This Iranian team has competed at WSC twice before in 2007 and 2011.
The first designs for the car were posted on their facebook page way back in 2012 but the first pictures of their car only started to emerge earlier this month. The car is on its way to Australia now.
UNSW Solar Racing Team Sunswift (GREEN)
The solar car team of the University of New-South-Wales Sunswift is bringing back their 2013 car in the 2015 WSC, and they just unveiled their car ‘eVe’ for the 2015 WSC. ‘eVe’ is officially the world’s fastest electric car over 500 km. The team even aims to have their car to become the first road-legal solar sports car in Australia.
Last WSC edition they became 3rd in the Cruiser Class, we are looking forward to this year performance of the cruisers!
Houston Solar Race Team (Sundancer) (GREEN)
The Houston High School Solar Car Team is one of the two high school teams competing in the 2015 WSC. The team already has won 14 times in the Solar Car Challenge (solar car race for high schools). The team is driving their car Sundancer in the Adventure Class of the World Solar Challenge. Over the past weeks they did some final touches on their car and prepared it for shipping. Good luck guys!
Liberty Christian School (GREEN)
The team from Liberty Christian School of Texas is competing in the Adventure Class with their car ‘Solis Bellator’. The design philosophy of the team is based on building the lightest possible car which is still very durable. They aim at maximizing the solar array surface area and they have chosen to invest in an improved motor. The car is already on its way to Darwin. The team will leave for Australia in the beginning of October, and aims to unpack their car at the 8th of October. We wish them good luck and safe travels!
Petroleum Institute (GREEN)
After a good debut competition in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, where they finished second behind Michigan, the PI Solar Team have unfortunately withdrawn from this year’s World Solar Challenge.
Their post on Facebook says they underestimated some of the planning required for finance and logistics. This highlights some of the difficulties with logistics and finance, which we will try to show in a subsequent blog post..
Tafe SA Solar Car Team (GREEN)
The TAFE SA Solar Car Team competes in the Adventure Class with their ‘Solar Spirit’ car. This cruiser-like car weighs a 360 kg and is covered by 6 m^2 Sunpower monocystralline silicon cells with an efficiency of 22.6%. They designed the car to drive at an average speed of 80 km/h.
According to their last update (August 31) the team is training their new drivers.
Ardingly College Solar Team (No Status)
We were not aware of this team, as of our May update, however, it seems this British school team have been quietly building a 2 seat Cruiser Class vehicle. As featured on the BBC, they are likely to be the first European School to take part in the World Solar Challenge. An unconventional but simple steel design compare to most other cruiser class vehicles, it also appear that the rear wheels are slightly narrower track than the front. Their social media channels have become increasingly active, suggesting they are nearing the end of their build. We can only assume they will be flying their car to Australia if it’s still in England at this time. Looking forward to how they will perform in their debut WSC.