World Solar Challenge: Team 20

20  Houston School District (Sundancer)

Houston School District (from the small town in Mississippi, not the large city in Texas) has competed in the World Solar Challenge before (though not in 2013), and has won the US High School Solar Car Challenge Open Division every year since 2001. Their solar car, Sundancer, is entered in the Adventure class at WSC 2015, competing against the Petroleum Institute from the UAE, TAFE South Australia, and Liberty Christian School. They maintain a blog at www.sundancersolarcar.blogspot.com. Good luck, team 20!

For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see:

World Solar Challenge: Team 3

3  Nuon Solar Team (Nuna8)

The Nuon Solar Team from the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) have come second in the World Solar Challenge twice, and have won five times, most recently in 2013 – thanks to a good car and a great team. They also won the last Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa (see video below). This year the World Solar Challenge will see their new car, Nuna8 (above). The new car has 9% less drag than Nuna7, and is 30 kg lighter (160 kg rather than 190 kg). Will Nuon win the WSC again? Good luck, team 3!

For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see:

World Solar Challenge: Team 14

14  University of KwaZulu-Natal (Hulamin)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has been racing solar cars for a few years now, and came 3rd in the last Sasol Solar Challenge. They are new to the World Solar Challenge, but have a very nice-looking car (above and below). Good luck, team 14!

For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see:

World Solar Challenge: Team 32

32  Principia Solar Car Team (Ra 9)

The team from Principia College have raced solar cars since 1997, and came 6th in the recent Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge in their ninth car, Ra 9, which they are also entering in the WSC Challenger class this year. Good luck, team 32!

For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see:

World Solar Challenge: Team 8

8  Punch Powertrain Solar Team (Punch One)

The Belgian team from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven came 6th in the World Solar Challenge Challenger class in 2013, in their earlier vehicle Indupol One, and 3rd in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (but 1st among the four-wheeled cars). Their sixth car, Punch One (above), seems to have performed well in wind-tunnel testing (below), and we wish the 16 students on the team all the very best for the World Solar Challenge this year. Good luck, team 8!

For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see:

World Solar Challenge: Social Media

It’s interesting to look at the social media platforms used by teams in the World Solar Challenge. Out of 47 teams, I was able to find the following social media pages (see also the clickable icons on my team lists):

FaceBook – 45 teams (96%)
Twitter – 36 teams (77%)
Instagram – 23 teams (49%)
YouTube – 21 teams (45%)
Flickr – 13 teams (28%)
LinkedIn – 7 teams (15%)
Picasa – 2 teams (4%)

Obviously some technologies are “in,” and others are either passé or still on their way up. According to the Pew Research Center, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are all increasing in popularity, with FaceBook still the most popular. I guess it’s time for me to join Instagram!