A new chapter unfolds in the race to find a clean alternative energy source for the world’s power needs as SunPower, the world’s leading solar power company, ceremonially turned over to the Philippine Solar Car Society, Inc. the solar cells that will power SINAG, the Philippines’ first entry to the World Solar Challenge in Australia this October.
SunPower Vice President for Operations Greg Reichow turned over the solar cells to De La Salle University-Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, who received them on behalf of the Society in a recent ceremony held on the school grounds. The event was the most recent milestone in the exciting partnership between industry and academe, a shining example of shared commitment to explore renewable sources of energy for the country and the world.
Homegrown Filipino talent is behind every aspect of SINAG’s design, from its sleek monocoque shell to its dynamically adaptive electrical system. Powering the car is one of the world’s best solar cell technologies which, in itself, is a remarkable feat of Filipino engineering: the car’s six square meter top surface is covered with model A-300 monocrystalline silicon solar cells made exclusively at SunPower’s Laguna facility.
SunPower’s industry-leading A-300 monocrystalline silicon solar cells boast the highest efficiency of any commercially-available solar cell in the world and are the centerpiece of SINAG’s design, which was conceptualized and built by the dedicated students and faculty of De La Salle University-Manila, with the help and partnership of the Philippine Solar Car Society, Inc. which has in its roster some of the biggest names in local industry: Ford Group Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, Motolite, Shell, SunPower, Philippine Airlines, and Ventus. The Society also counts among its members Aurora, Cabrera Lavadia and Associates, JWT, Creasia, Merritt Partners, Tuason Training School, Gochermann Solar Technology, and Stratworks, Inc.
The solar cells provided by SunPower bring the Sinag project a step closer to its ultimate test, the World Solar Challenge in Australia in October this year. Founded 20 years ago by Danish-born adventurer Hans Thostrup, the WSC invites young engineers and scientists from around the world to pursue the ideals of sustainable transport, by building a car capable of traveling across the Australian Continent on the power of sunlight and undertake a 3,000 km journey in the spirit of friendly competition.
SINAG is positive proof of the Filipinos’ technological capability to develop solar power as a viable source of renewable energy, and stands as a symbol of the success that we as a nation can achieve by working together as a team. With the Philippines’ entry into the World Solar Challenge, the country is now a step closer to the dawning of a bright new future for solar power.