Together with other alternative energy advocates, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) gave support to the development of SINAG, the Philippine’s first entry to the World Solar Challenge in Australia to be held from October 21 to 28, 2007.
SINAG, the solar car’s six-square meter top surface will be covered by A-300 Monocrystalline Terrestrial Grade Solar Cells, which will enable the car to undertake a 3,000 kilometer journey from Darwin, situated in the northern territory of Australia. The solar cells boast of an efficiency of 21.5%, the highest in its class, and will be the centerpiece of the SINAG car.
Pilipinas Shell Vice President for External Affairs Roberto Kanapi and Sustainable Development Manager Mylene Santos, together with officials and representatives from sponsor companies witnessed the ceremonial turnover of solar cells by Sunpower Vice President for Operation Greg Reichow to De La Salle University – Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmelita Quebengco in a ceremony held on May 29, 2007 at the 3/F Yuchengco Bldg. inside the De La Salle University campus along Taft Avenue, Manila.
The Philippine participation to the World Solar Challenge was brought about by the partnership of like minded corporations such as Pilipinas Shell, Ford, San Miguel, Motolite, Sunpower, Philippine Airlines, and Ventus, which formed the Philippine Solar Car Challenge Society, Inc. led by former Department of Energy Secretary Vincent Perez. In his speech, Perez said, “SINAG is a solid proof of Filipino capability to put together a solar car powered vehicle. Second, it shows a unique partnership between the academe and corporations. Third, it promotes the use of renewable energy such as the solar power.”
The 40-man team behind SINAG car is composed of Electronics and Communications Engineering students and faculty members from De La Salle University (DLSU)-Manila who are determined to complete the solar powered vehicle in June 2007 and see its way to Australia to compete with around 35 participants representing countries from all over the world. “We take pride in this project. This project impresses to our students that innovation is important. There was no hesitation on our part to take on the challenge of building a solar powered car,” said Quebengco.
SINAG Solar Car Technical Team Head and DLSU faculty member Rene Fernandez said, “SINAG will zing across the Australian outback at a speed of no less than 100 KPH. We no longer have to sit down and satisfy our craving with mere pictures. We are ready to move on from mere theorizing to experimentation, and eventually the big race from Darwin to Adelaide this October.”
Truly, SINAG is an exciting partnership between the business industry and the academe and a shining example of shared commitment to explore renewable sources of energy for the country and the world.