One of the toughest auto engineering competitions in the world, the World Solar Challenge Competition, has come and gone, and a winner has finally crossed the finishing line! Every two years, teams from all over the world come to Australia to travel across the country on a solar powered vehicle. This year’s winner was the team from Delft University, who have proven, once again that, not only is it possible to create a solar powered vehicle, but that you can cross a continent in it… all in sustainable style.
Sponsored by Panasonic, the World Solar Challenge is a race intended to showcase solar powered vehicles by different universities around the world. The teams are required to do everything, from researching to building the solar powered vehicles, which must be capable of traveling from Darwin to Adelaide. For those of you not familiar with Australian geography, the distance between those two cities is 3000km, around the same distance between Chicago and Los Angeles, or more than the distance from Paris to Moscow.
The eleven-student Dutch team updated and modified their previous Nuna vehicle, now known as Nuna4. While the competition had been a heated one, in the end, the Nuna4 proved to be quick enough to win the challenge. This year, the designers faced stricter rules intended to change the specifications from the “do whatever you can to make it work” to rules which will produce a potentially marketable solar-powered automobile.
While the idea of a fully solar powered car might still be a few years out, the challenges certainly bring us one step closer to finally owning one.
+ World Solar Challenge Competition
+ Delft University wins solar powered race