World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge is a solar car race across Australia (from Darwin to Adelaide), held every two years. I have blogged extensively about the 2013, 2015, and 2017 events. The official worldsolarchallenge.org website has the most recent results, and I produced an annotated list of teams for 2017. I have also designed a board game inspired by the race, and written some route notes. Here is the route for the 2017 race (click to zoom; white dots are mandatory control stops):

Here is a wall chart of 2017 teams (click on the image to zoom). Cruisers are listed first, then Challengers, and finally the Adventure class:

The chart is also available with a white background. In the Challenger class, the chart below summarises what happened (for the cars that did not trailer). It is drawn with reference to a baseline speed of 83.89 km/h. This is the speed that would complete the race (to “end of timing”) in 4 days and 5 hours. The left vertical axis shows how far behind the baseline cars are driving. Straight lines represent cars driving at a consistent speed. The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later). The twists and turns of the lines here reveal many of the dramatic events of the race, such as the spate of bad weather:

These are the average speeds:

These are the practicality scores for all the Cruiser-class cars. Of these, only three arrived in Adelaide during the required time window.

For the three Cruisers that arrived in time, here are the calculations of the final scores. Each team has three coloured bars: first the number of person-kilometres, which should be large (black icons show occupied seats and white icons empty seats), then the energy usage, which should be small (number of charges, which is 6 in each case, times battery capacity), and finally the overall efficiency score, which should be large again (it is the height of the first bar divided by that of the second bar, then scale so that the largest result is 80%). The scaled practicality scores out of 20 (grey bars) are then added. Eindhoven is the clear winner, with Bochum second:

The next chart shows the best teams from 2001 to 2017. Nuon, from the Netherlands, has dominated the event:

Past posts of potential interest include:


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