The desert is beautiful

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”


Highway connecting the Liwa Oasis villages, Abu Dhabi (photo: Nepenthes)

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Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge Day 2: the northwards run

On day 2 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, the route began at the Shams concentrating solar power station, passed through Liwa to Hameem, and then doubled back northwards past the power station toward Highway E-11, where cars will turn south to finish at the power station again. The photo below (from solarracing.org) shows Punch Powertrain Solar Team passing through Liwa for the second time:

Live tracking allows fans from across the world to follow the race. The top five cars have been battling it out all day in an extremely dramatic fashion, and the current order of cars (as far as I can tell from the live tracker) is:

2: University of Michigan Quantum (Twitter, Facebook) – 3rd at the end of the day
1: PI Solar Car Team (Twitter, Facebook) – 2nd at the end of the day
30: Team Arrow (Twitter, Facebook) – 5th at the end of the day (with a battery overheating right at the end)
8: Punch Powertrain Solar Team (Twitter, Facebook, blog) – 4th at the end of the day (but still 3rd overall, and the leading 4-wheel car)
34: Istanbul SOCRAT (Twitter, Facebook) – 1st at the end of the day (having fought their way to the lead – see this news story)
55: Hiroshima Institute of Technology – 6th at the end of the day
95: Apollo Solar Car Team (Facebook) – 8th at the end of the day
32: Principia Solar Car Team (Twitter, Facebook) – 7th at the end of the day
15: ZHAW Solar Energy Racers (Facebook)
75: Tokai University Solar Car Team (Twitter, Facebook)
9: Team Ondasolare (Twitter)
256: Oregon State University (Twitter, Facebook)
17: Illinois State University (Facebook)

These two cars seem to have had trouble:

29: Eco Solar Breizh (Twitter, Facebook) – the car was trucked in at the end of the day
90: Team Okinawa Solar Car Project (Twitter, Facebook)

As a memento of the excitement, here is another photo from solarracing.org, showing Principia Solar Car Team at the finish line:

The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge makes a fitting introduction to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (17–24 January) and the World Future Energy Summit (19–22 January) which follow on from it. And there is still the third day of racing tomorrow, in which the cars will have to cope with some cloudy weather!

Update: end-of-the-day notes added in grey

Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge Day 2 begins

Day 2 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge has begun. Live tracking allows fans from across the world to follow the race. The photo below (from solarracing.org) shows the cars lined up for the start:

The route today begins at the Shams concentrating solar power station, passes through the Liwa Oasis to Hameem, doubles back past the power station to Highway E-11, and finally finishes at the power station again. The map below (click to zoom) shows the cars at 10:45, with the race leaders having passed Liwa:

The chart below compares the positions of the top 7 cars with their time from yesterday. Principia (32), who finished yesterday in 6th place (with a time of 5:34:55), seem to have run into trouble today, but are trying to make up for lost time. Ondasolare (9) has also fallen behind, and Eco Solar Breizh (29) had a delayed start. Punch Powertrain (8) and Team Arrow (30) have been battling it out for 3rd place, and Tokai (75) has improved on their result from yesterday to make 6th.

Dawn of Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge Day 2

Day 2 of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge will begin in 4.5 hours, at 10:00 local time. Live tracking allows fans from across the world to follow the race. The map below shows where the various teams hail from.

Days 2 and 3 of the event will start and finish at the Shams concentrating solar power station (photo below by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company). The route will pass Madinat Zayed, Liwa Oasis, and Hameem (map here).

The weather is predicted to be sunny today, but clouding over tomorrow. The video below (from solarracing.org) shows the start of racing yesterday. See also this local news report.