Anything can happen in the World Solar Challenge, but this infographic lists my personal picks for potential winners. The MostDece blog has a slightly different list – and indeed, if I was listing candidates for a potential podium finish, I would probably include all the teams listed there, and perhaps a few others as well.
Click the image to zoom.
So the bets are on?
My picks for Challenger are a copy of 2013 for the top 3:
with Michigan, Punch and Stanford fighting closely behind for 4, 5 and 6.
For Cruiser I see that with the changed calculations and only 1 charge from the grid chance that the cars with GaAs cells will face more trouble than anticipated. Because aero and speed will be more important my list looks like this:
with Sunswift on their heels.
Tony already linked to my Challenger post above, but see also my Cruiser post.
Similar thought on the Challenger class, although I’d group them a little differently:
* Nuon is the clear favorite
* Tokai, Twente, Michigan fighting for 2nd
* Stanford, Punch, and Blue Sky fighting for 5th
On the Cruiser side, I just don’t see Eindhoven’s car doing well – I expect both Bochum and Sunswift to beat them.
Oops. Sorry about not linking to your Cruiser post, MostDece. I won’t argue with your Challenger class predictions, except to say that the teams you list for 2nd can still win, and the teams you list for 5th can still come second.
Sunswift probably is indeed the Cruiser favourite with the new rules, but it’s not clear to me exactly how fast Eindhoven and Bochum are — is that tunnel a positive or a negative? how does a large Si array compare to a small GaAs one?
I also have a “dark horse” post here, which links to some of your other comments.
I am not an aero expert, but I can imagine long and narrow tunnels like at Stella Lux can create turbulance, probably more than the wider tunnel that Owl has. But we can assume Eindhoven have done their homework in simulations and the windtunnel to optimize.
Calculating solar panel efficiency with many involved components isn’t straight forward.
In laboratory environments without concentrators the top Si cells have around 25% energy conversion; for GaAs that is now above 38%, using multi-junction technology.
I imagine that the limited higher efficiency of GaAs panels do not outweigh double the size of the Si panels, despite the aerodynamic advantages.
Sunswift was fastest in 2013, but is running the same car. Bochum is fielding a faster (more aerodynamic) car, and Eindhoven’s car is probably faster too. Kogakuin’s car looks very fast also. Really, any of those four could win the Cruiser class.
What do you think of the solar array of Twente? It seems that they have put a lot of thought into making the decision of using both Suncat whole cells and Gochermann diced cells. Might this be the edge they need, to win this years WSC?
Don’t really know enough about solar cells to comment. But Twente certainly seem to have put a lot of thought into EVERYTHING this year.
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