Solar power, while streaming free daily from our sun, is notoriously difficult to turn into practical vehicular transportation. Sure, you can cross Australia in a solar car, if you're willing to work hard, but direct solar-powered transportation (i.e., not solar charging à la a Tesla Supercharger or Peder Norby) with passengers remains difficult. But that's just the hurdle that the Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) from the Netherlands is trying to jump.
No, that is not the world's most awesome Michigan Wolverines beer pong table. It's a million-dollar race car that's powered by the sun, and in the most recent episode of Translogic, our sister site visits the University of Michigan Solar Car Team to learn all about it.
Fro the second year in a row, Tokai University can lay claim to the winner's laurels in the 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge, a sun-powered race challenge in Australia that winds over 1,800 miles between Darwin and Adelaide using only 5 kWh of on-board energy and the rest beamed in directly from the sun. As the race's website says, "These are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles."
The World Solar Challenge is back for its tenth outing across the wilds of Australia this October. Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the only ones to have competed in every single running and Eleanor is their tenth such effort. This Eleanor is nothing like the 1968 Mustang in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. This sleek single seater is designed to slip through the atmosphere with absolute minimum of resistance and extract the maximum amount of work from every photon absorb
Solar-powered transportation owes a great deal to the participants of races and contests such as the World Solar Challenge in Australia. Starting in 1987, this biennial event covers a 3,000-kilometer route from tropical Darwin in the Northern Territory, to cosmopolitan Adelaide in South Australia. The challenge includes not only navigating the route, but involves a great deal of strategy as well, as teams must conserve energy while maintaining consistent speed. History shows that this can be a d
Using a body of carbon fiber, Kevlar and epoxy swathed over a honeycomb core, the Sinag solar car, a first for the Philippines, is set to enter the 20th World Solar Challenge in Australia in October. The three-wheeled vehicle converts energy from the sun into electricity using 400 solar cells, silicon-based, which are capable of sending 2000 watts to a pack of lithium polymer batteries and in turn to the electric motor driving the rear wheel. Like other solar racers, the car seats one person and
The University of Toronto's Blue Sky Solar Racing program began in 1997. Now with over 100 student members, they're in the process of developing their third solar race car which should be ready for the 2007 World Solar Challenge. For Ecofest 2006, they brought their 2nd generation vehicle which is dubbed Faust II.
Undergrads at the University of Missouri-Columbia are hard at work putting together a hydrogen fuel
cell solar vehicle that will compete in the 2007 World Solar Challenge. That’s about as green as
it gets. The SunTiger team’s website is still focused on the team’s performance at the 2005 solar car and
race, but information on the new vehicle, called Tigergen I, I think, is hidden in the “Tech” link and will
be made more available when the SunTigers tour Missouri thi