European Solar Challenge: the sun at Zolder

The iLumen European Solar Challenge at Circuit Zolder in Belgium is still expected to go ahead on 18–20 September (see my list of teams here).

Above is my calculation of the theoretical solar power for this event, assuming no clouds, ignoring diffuse sky radiation, and taking solar panels as 100% efficient (more realistic values are 20–24% for silicon and 35% for GaAs).

We will see, during the race itself, how much sun there will be (on past trends, during September, the sun at Zolder shines for about 6 hours a day, and there is rain on one day in two).

Emerging solar car teams

Here is a brief list of emerging solar car teams. We wish them all the very best as they plan for their first race, especially in these difficult times. Please notify me in the comments of other new teams aiming at major races.

CO  Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín (Hydrómetra) 

Challenger – this team has a background in boat racing, but are building a car for iESC.

picture credit (click image to zoom – OLD PIC)

MX  Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México Solar Racing Team (Hyadi) 

Two-seat cruiser (car: Quetzal 2) – this new team from Mexico are planning to build a great-looking Cruiser. They hope to attend the World Solar Challenge.

picture credit (click image to zoom)

PL  PUT Solar Dynamics (Poznań University of Technology) 

Two-seat cruiser – they are making good progress on construction. This (Polish) video describes their project. They had originally hoped to race at WSC 19.

Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

SA  Alfaisal Solar Car Team 

Classic symmetric challenger (car: Areej 1) – they originally registered for ASC 2018 and WSC 2019, but withdrew from those events. Their car name is a pun: AREG/Areej is an acronym for Alfaisal Renewable Energy Group but also means “the scent of a flowery garden” in Arabic. Their car appears complete.

Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

US  Bradley University 

Challenger – I am not sure of the status of this team.

US  Comet Solar Racing team (UT Dallas) 

Challenger – I am not sure of the status of this team.

US  Grand Valley State 

Symmetric challenger – they appear to have gotten started by being given Poly Montreal’s Esteban 8. Their team number (616) is the telephone area code for Grand Rapids, Michigan.

picture credit (click image to zoom)

US  KU Solar Car 

Monohull challenger (car: Astra) – they are raising funds for construction. The render they have posted shows a monohull design, 1.3 m wide. They completed their battery pack in March. Their team number (785) is the telephone area code for northern Kansas.

picture credit (click image to zoom)

This page last updated 13:33 on 16 May 2020 AEST.

COVID-19 in the UK #2

The chart above (click to zoom) is an updated view of registered deaths in England and Wales according to the ONS up to 26 June. The difference between the red and black lines (highlighted in yellow) indicates deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The red line shows that a spike in non-COVID-19 deaths also took place.

Sombre news, but the COVID-19 peak seems to have passed.

Edit 1: Updated chart for more recent data.

Edit 2: The Telegraph is expressing concern at the spike in non-COVID-19 deaths, which seems to reflect under-treatment of cancer and other serious diseases during the lockdown.