To highlight the country’s efforts to promote the use of alternative sources of energy, SINAG, the first Philippine Solar Car, was inaugurated last January 27 at NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
With the help of Ford Group Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, Shell, Sunpower, Philippine Airlines and Ventus, the students and faculty members of De La Salle University-Manila are developing SINAG, which will participate in the World Solar Challenge 2007, which will be held from October 21 to 28 in Australia.
Conceived by fuel economy expert Hans Tholstrup in 1987, the World Solar Challenge is the biggest solar car race in the world participated in by around 20 countries. The annual race is 3,010 kilometers long traveling the Australian continent, from Darwin to Adelaide.
The main technology behind the solar car known as the "photovoltaic cell" has been available since 1883, but incorporating this into a practical and sustainable form of transportation is still an ongoing process. The Challenge seeks to further drum up support for the development of such a solar car.
SINAG looks fundamentally like a pair of wings on wheels, with its solar cell-covered top surface of a little over six meters squared. The car is made out of carbon fiber and Nomex (aramid fiber) in order to keep it as light as 150 kilograms, so as to achieve a higher running speed.
Leading the technical working team are La Salle faculty members Engrs. Rene Fernandez, Martin Ernesto Kalaw, Anthony Escobar, Jose Antonio Catalan, Emmanuel Gonzales, and Isidro Marfori III.
This First Philippine entry to the annual solar car racing event is a fine example of how the country can rise and stand with the rest of the world in meeting such a challenge, which requires superior technology and skill. The SINAG will be using solar cells from Sunpower, the highest efficiency solar cells in the world, also proudly made in the Philippines.
The members of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Solar Car Project are: Henry Co, Chairman of Ford Group Philippines; Edgar Chua, Country Chairman of Shell companies in the Philippines; Ramon Ang, President and COO of San Miguel Corporation; Tammy Lipana, Chairman and Senior Partner of Isla Lipana; Vince Perez, Chairman of Next Century Partners; Rose Montenegro, President of Ventus; Greg Reichow, Vice President for Operations of Sunpower; Jimmy Bautista, President of Philippine Airlines; and Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, Executive Vice President of De La Salle University-Manila.
This groundbreaking endeavor by Team Philippines is also being supported by J. Walter Thompson, CreAsia, Tuason Racing School, Aurora and Cabrera, Lavadia & Associates.