A new dawn breaks in the race for sustainable energy as SINAG, the first Philippine solar-powered car to participate in the World Solar Challenge in Australia, was unveiled on September 1, 2007 at One Esplanade, SM Central Business Park, Pasay City.
SINAG is the embodiment of a threefold message: that the Philippines is blessed with great potential for tapping renewable energy sources such as solar power; that the Philippines produces some of the most efficient solar cells in the world; and that we as a nation can stand alongside the rest of the world in developing solar power technology. By undertaking this global challenge, SINAG takes us one step closer to finally harnessing the full power of the sun.
SINAG was designed and constructed by students from the Mechanical Engineering and the Electronic and Communications Engineering Departments of De La Salle University-Manila, headed by Prof. Rene Fernandez, the Overall Technical Team Leader, with the support of sponsors De La Salle University-Manila, Ford Group Philippines, Motolite, Philippine Airlines, San Miguel Corporation, Shell, SunPower, and Ventus.
They are also joined by Aurora, Cabrera Lavadia and Associates, JWT, Creasia, Merritt Partners, Tuason Racing School, Gochermann Solar Technology, and Stratworks.
The public unveiling of SINAG was supported by One Esplanade and SM Investments Corporation.
SINAG will join other solar power champions in the prestigious World Solar Challenge from October 21 to 28, 2007.
Competing with the best of the world
The World Solar Challenge is the ultimate test in the efficient use of the sun as a source of sustainable energy, requiring delicately balanced speed and endurance, energy management and strategic planning. The objective of this competition is to build a solar-powered vehicle capable of undertaking the 3,000-kilometer journey across Australia, from Darwin to Adelaide.
The competition also aims to work for a clean and green environment by motivating research and development for alternative power sources. Since Danish adventurer Hans Thorstrup’s introduction of the competition in 1978, more than 300 entries from all over the world have joined this remarkable journey.
SINAG and other competing solar cars will be provided with workshops on October 8, while the test track will be available to them from October 15 onwards. The vehicles will be registered on October 18. The race will commence on October 21, with the awards rites on the 28th.
Fueling the nation
The interest in the development of sustainable energy is a growing trend in business the world over, as shown by the willingness of diverse private groups to work together for the common good. The drive for this cause has been so great that representative from SINAG’s sponsors have banded together to form the Philippine Solar Car Challenge Society, Inc., (PSCS) with the aim to lunch and pursue other projects that will similarly spotlight the potentials of solar energy and the Filipino capacity to harness it for the benefit of the country. The PSCS further aims to show that by working together, we as a people have what it takes to develop solar power as a viable renewable power source.
For decades, solar power as a practical source of sustainable energy has been an elusive goal. Thankfully, because of the efforts of the people behind SINAG, the first Philippine entry to the Wordl Solar Challenge in Australia this October, the future of a clean, pollution-free energy source shines brighter than ever. Along the way, they are counting on the feat to bring pride to Filipinos and, hopefully, inspire other people to rally behind this cause and be champions for the environment.