World Solar Challenge 2019 In Australia
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Many of us who have been concerned about Climate Change, Solar Energy, and Future Vehicle development, have been attending the event World Solar Challenge that occurs once every other year in Australia. With over 53 teams from 24 countries (with qualified teams from these countries: Australia, USA, Netherlands, Belgium, Chile, Singapore, Italy, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Sweden, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Poland, Thailand, Canada, China, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia), each with their very own custom built solar vehicle built to specific regulations, traveling 3,000 kms through the center of Australia (from Darwin-Katherine-Dunmarra-Tennant Creek-Barrow Creek-Alice Springs-Kulgera-Coober Pedy-Glendambo-Port Augusta-Adelaide), many solar and car enthusiasts from different parts of the planet earth have been involved in making Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019 or BWSC2019 (October 13-October 20, 2019) a reality.
Let us introduce the highlights of ‘Bridgestone World Solar Challenge’ where the world’s premier solar cars run across Australia over five days, in the video “One minute guide to 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge! BWSC OFFICIAL MOVIE“, below:
In June of 2019, it’s on the World Environment Day that the announcement of regulations for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge took place! In the video “Regulations announcement, 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge“, below:
In June of 2019, it was a suitably sunny day in Adelaide, South Australia, Chris Selwood announced the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge official teams, in video “2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Teams Announcement“, below:
- First Solar Vehicle that came in for the Challenger Class: Bluepoint of Agoria Solar Team from Belgium (average speed: 86.6 KPH)
- Second Solar Vehicle that came in for the Challenger Class: Tokai Challenger of Tokai University Solar Car Team from Japan (average speed: 86.1 KPH)
- Third Solar Vehicle that came in for the Challenger Class: Electrum of University of Michigan Solar Car Team from USA (average speed: 79.6 KPH)
- Results of the Challenger Class
- First Place Solar Vehicle for the Cruiser Class: Stella Era of Solar Team Eindhoven from Netherlands (final score of 104.0)
- Results of the Cruiser Class
- To see more photos & videos of BWSC2019, please click HERE.
Meet the teams that participated in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019. They hail from all over the world – from Australia to the USA, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and everywhere in between! In the video “Meet the Teams, Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019“, below:
BWSC2019 started from Darwin, Australia, in the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge Live Stream of Start/Finish Line“, below:
Kicking off the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019 with Stella Era in Darwin, in the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019-Race day 1 of Solar Team Eindhoven“, below:
From Darwin to Adelaide, by sun power, in the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019“, below:
After a rough start, the team was up for excitement during the second day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Traveling 400 kilometers in 5 hours from Daly Waters to Tennant Creek for the first external charging point, in the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019-Race Day 2 Solar Team Eindhoven“, below:
Strong winds, a sandstorm, and a stage of 1200 kilometers on a single charge made day 4 of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge one to remember. How did it go for the leader in the Cruiser Class? In the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019-Race Day 4 Solar Team Eindhoven“, below:
The leading solar car, Nuna from Netherlands, competing in the World Solar Challenge has burst into flames, forcing the team out of the race for the first time in 20 years, in the video “Driver makes lucky escape after World Solar Challenge car bursts into flames, ABC News“, below:
This is our penultimate day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and even though we are close to the finish, you never know what the future will bring… in the video “Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019-Race Day 5 Solar Team Eindhoven“, below”
Solar Team Eindhoven finishes after a six-day and 3022-kilometer journey from North to South Australia with the highest efficiency score, in the video “The finish of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019“, below:
We appreciate all of these young people for all of their time, energy, and enthusiasm in the designing, building, and racing of these solar cars. Through them, we can believe and see our sunny Solar Future!
For more about World Solar Challenge, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia page, in italics, below:
The World Solar Challenge (WSC), or the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge since 2013, tied to the sponsorship of Bridgestone Corporation is the world’s most well-known solar-powered car race event. A biennial road race covering 3,022 km (1,878 mi) through the Australian Outback, from Darwin, Northern Territory, to Adelaide, South Australia, created to foster the development of experimental, solar-powered vehicles.
The race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations, although some are fielded by high schools. The race has a 32-year history spanning fifteen races, with the inaugural event taking place in 1987. Initially held once every three years, the event became biennial from the turn of the century.
Since 2001 the World Solar Challenge was won seven times out of nine efforts by the Nuna team and cars of the Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands, with only the Tokai Challenger, built by the Tokai University of Japan able to take the crown in 2009 and 2011.
Starting in 2007, the WSC has been raced in multiple classes. After the German team of Bochum University of Applied Sciences competed with a four-wheeled, multi-seat car, the BoCruiser (in 2009), in 2013 a radically new “Cruiser Class” was introduced, racing and stimulating the technological development of practically usable, and ideally road-legal, multi-seater solar vehicles. Since its inception, Solar Team Eindhoven’s four- and five-seat Stella solar cars from Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) won the Cruiser Class in all three races sofar.
Remarkable technological progress has been achieved since the GM led, highly experimental, single-seat Sunraycer prototype first won the WSC with an average speed of 66.9 km/h (41.6 mph). Once competing cars became steadily more capable to match or exceed legal maximum speeds on the Australian highway, the race rules were consistently made more demanding and challenging — for instance after Honda‘s Dreamcar first won the race with an average speed exceeding 55 mph (88.5 km/h) in 1996. In 2005 the Dutch Nuna team were the first to beat an average speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
The 2017 Cruiser class winner, the five-seat Stella Vie vehicle, was able to carry an average of 3.4 occupants at an average speed of 69 km/h (43 mph). Like its two predecessors, the 2017 Stella Vie vehicle was successfully road registered by the Dutch team, further emphasizing the great progress in real world compliance and practicality that has been achieved.
The World Solar Challenge held its 30th anniversary event on October 8–15, 2017.
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 escort cars will continuously remotely retrieve 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.
It is equally important to charge the batteries as much as possible in periods of daylight when the car is not racing. To capture as much solar energy as possible, the solar panels are generally directed such that these are perpendicular to the incident sun rays. Sometimes the whole solar array is tilted for this purpose.
- The timed portion of the race stops at the outskirts of Adelaide, 2998 km from Darwin. However, for the timings recorded at that point to count, competitors must reach the official finish line in the centre of the city under solar power alone.
- As the race is over public roads, the cars have to adhere to the normal traffic regulations; however, there is a special note in the official regulations remarking on the tendency of drivers to take advantage of a favourable road camber in order to capture the maximum amount of 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 (180 lb), ballast will be added to make up the difference.
- Driving time is between 8:00 and 17:00 (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). 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 a mass for each chemistry (such as Lithium Ion) equivalent to approximately 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 (149.6 in/s²).
- By 2005, several teams were handicapped by the South Australian speed limit of 110 km/h (68 mph), as well as the difficulties of support crews keeping up with 130 km/h (81 mph) race vehicles. It was generally agreed that the challenge of building a solar vehicle capable of crossing Australia at vehicular speeds had been met and exceeded. A new challenge was set: to build a new generation of solar car, which, with little modification, could be the basis for a practical proposition for sustainable transport.
- Entrants to the 2007 race chose between racing in the Adventure and Challenge classes. Challenge class cars were restricted to 6 square meters of Si solar collectors (a 25% reduction), and later to 3 square meters for GaAs, driver access and egress were required to be unaided, seating position upright, steering controlled with a steering wheel, and many new safety requirements were added. Competitors also had to adhere to the new 130 km/h (81 mph) speed limit across the Northern Territory portion of the Stuart Highway. The 2007 event again featured a range of supplementary classes, including the Greenfleet class, which features a range of non-solar energy-efficient vehicles exhibiting their fuel efficiency.
- For the 2009 challenge class several new rules were adopted, including the use of profiled tyres. Battery weight limits depend on secondary cell chemistries so that competitors have similar energy storage capabilities. Battery mass is now 20 kg for Li-ion and Li-polymer battery (was reduced from 25 and 21 kg in the past).
- In 2013, a new Cruiser Class was introduced. The race took place in four stages. Final placings were based on a combination of time taken (56.6%), number of passengers carried (5.7%), battery energy from the grid between stages (18.9%), and a subjective assessment of practicality (18.9%)
- In the 2015 Cruiser Class regulations, the scoring formula emphasized practicality less than before. Elapsed time will account for 70% of the score, passengers 5%, grid energy use 15%, and practicality 10%.
- In 2017, solar array areas were reduced, and the Cruiser Class was changed to a Regularity Trial, with scoring based on energy efficiency and practicality.
The idea for the competition originates from Danish-born adventurer Hans Tholstrup. He was the first to circumnavigate the Australian continent in a 16-foot (4.9 m) open boat. At a later stage in his life he became involved in various competitions with fuel saving cars and trucks. Already in the 1980s, 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 The Quiet Achiever, and traversed the 4,052 km (2,518 mi) between Sydney, New South Wales and Perth, Western Australia in 20 days. That was the precursor of the World Solar Challenge.
After the 4th race, he sold the rights to the state of South Australia and leadership of the race was assumed by Chris Selwood.
The race was held every three years until 1999 when it was switched to every two years.
Again, allow me to reiterate: We appreciate all of these young people for all of their time, energy, and enthusiasm in the designing, building, and racing of these solar cars. Through them, we can believe and see our sunny Solar Future!
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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