Project SINAG : The First Philippine Solar-Powered Car

WSC Objective


australian outbackThe World Solar Challenge is a solar powered car race over 3021 km through central Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. The race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools.

You can be part of one of the greatest adventures of our time. From tropical Darwin to balmy Adelaide - more than 3000km of some of the most remote and beautiful country on earth. Design, plan, toil, then race to glory.

Panasonic World Solar Challenge 21-28 October 2007

Once again, the organisers of the WSC welcome Panasonic as the major sponsor of the event, and acknowledge the outstanding vision of that organisation in making that commitment.

Objective

The objective of this competition is to promote research on solar-powered cars. Teams from universities and enterprises participate. In 2005 a maximum of 30 teams will be registered by the organising committee.

Important Rules

  • As the race is over public roads, the cars have to adhere to the normal traffic regulations. Remarkable is the special note in the official regulations on the tendency of drivers to take advantage of a favourable road camber in order to catch as much as possible solar-energy. After midday when the sun is in the west, it would be advantageous to drive on the right side of the highway, provided of course there is no traffic in opposite direction.
  • A minimum of 2 and maximum 4 drivers have to be registered. If the weight of a driver (including clothes) is less than 80 kg, ballast will be added to make up the difference.
  • Driving time is between 0800 and 1700 hours. In order to select a suitable place for the overnight stop (alongside the highway) it is possible to extend the driving period for a maximum of 10 minutes, which extra driving time will be compensated by a starting time delay the next day.
  • At various points along the route there are checkpoints where every car has to pause for 30 minutes. Only limited maintenance tasks (no repairs) are allowed during these compulsory stops.
  • The capacity of the batteries is limited to 5 kWh maximum. At the start of the race, the batteries may be fully charged. Batteries may not be replaced during the competition, except in the situation of a breakdown. However, in that case a penalty time will apply.
  • Except for the maximum outer dimensions, there are no further restrictions on the design and construction of the car.
  • The deceleration of the dual braking system must be at least 3.8 m/s2.

The Challenge

Efficient balancing of power resources and power consumption is the key to success during the race. At any moment in time the optimal driving speed depends on the weather (forecast) and the remaining capacity of the batteries. The team members in the (normal) escort cars will continuously retrieve remotely data from the solar car about its condition and use these data as input for prior developed computer programs to work out the best driving strategy. Therefore the requirement that the foot well for the Official Observer, who is to be hosted by the primary escort vehicle, should not be filled up with computer equipment.

It is equally important to charge the batteries as much as possible in the periods from sunrise till 0800 and from 1700 till sunset. To capture as much solar-energy as possible, the solar panels are generally directed such that these are perpendicular to the incident sun rays. Often the whole car is tilted for this purpose.

History

The idea for the competition originates from Danish born adventurer Hans Thostrup (1944). He was the first to circumnavigate the Australian continent in a 16 feet open boat. At a later stage in his life he became involved in various competitions with fuel saving cars and trucks. Already in the eighties he became aware of the necessity to explore sustainable energy as a replacement for the limited available fossil fuel. Sponsored by BP, he designed the world's first solar car, called "Quiet Achiever", and traversed the 4052 km between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. That was the precursor of the World Solar Challenger.

After the 4th race, he sold the rights to the state of South Australia and was the leadership assumed by Chris Selwood.

The race was held every three years until 1999 when it was switched to a two year event.

  • The first race was run in 1987 when the winning entry, GM's Sunraycer won with an average speed of 67 km/h.
  • In 1990 the race was won by the "Spirit of Biel", built by engineering school in Switzerland.
  • In 1993 and 1996, Honda took the honours.
  • Finally in 1999 a "home" team, the Australian "Aurora", took the prize.
  • In 2001 the Nuna of the Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands, participating for the first time, was the fastest.
  • In 2003 the Nuna 2, the successor to the winner of 2001 won again, with an average speed of 97 km/h.
  • In 2005 the Nuna team scored a hat-trick with their third victory in a row; their Nuna 3 won with a record average speed of 103 km/h.

Next race

The next race will take place in 200_, 20 years after the first race.