2019 World Solar Challenge update #6


Nine fantastic WSC cars from Delft: 2001–2017 (photos: Vattenfall Solar Team)

Here is a further update on the 49 teams (29 Challengers, 20 Cruisers, and no Adventure cars) from 23 countries aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Many teams are busy with construction, and below is my best understanding of the current team status, updated to match the official list of teams. Teams are sorted in team number order.

Recent BWSC news is that Bochum and Minnesota will be racing existing cars (thyssenkrupp SunRiser and Eos II). We have also seen new car reveals from HUST (pic) and Top Dutch (video). Promised new car reveals include Twente21 June, Blue Sky24 June, Lightyear One25 June, Kogakuin27 June, MDH29 June, Tehran2 July, Agoria3 July, Eindhoven4 July, HK IVE6 July, Michigan19 July, Aachen22 July, and JU30 August.

Meanwhile, 24 teams – Kentucky, Florida, CalSol (1st in 2017), PrISUm, Northwestern, Mich St, Illinois St, Illini, Waterloo, UBC, Principia, Missouri S&T, Ga Tech, Esteban (3rd in 2017), SIUE, Calgary, Rutgers, NJIT, UVA, NCSU, Purdue, Bridger, W Mich, and UPRM, including 1 WSC team – are preparing to attend FSGP 2019 in America this July.

US  Looks on track  University of Michigan 

Challenger (new car) – they were asking for name suggestions for the new car. They will reveal their car on 19 July.

Michigan BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 2nd in the Challenger class)

NL  Looks on track  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their 2017 aftermovie. They have named Tom Salden, Max van der Waals, and Maxime Croft as the new drivers. There has been no word on a car reveal.

CL  Hmmm  Antakari Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – no news on the new design as yet. There has been no word on a car reveal.

Antakari BWSC 2013 aftermovie (they participated in the Adventure class)

SG  Looks on track  Singapore Polytechnic 

Cruiser (new car: SunSPEC 6) – they have new motors and new doors. There has been no word on a car reveal.

NL  Looks on track  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new team) – their car is a GaAs bullet car resembling Michigan’s 2017 Novum. It looks so good that at this stage I’m calling them “best new team.” There are Dutch media reports about their plans. They revealed their car on 12 June (video).

AU  Looks on track  Adelaide University 

Challenger (Lumen II) – they have been doing a lot of testing.

BE  Looks on track  Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven) 

Challenger (new car: BluePoint) – they have some (top secret) production moulds and are now sponsored by Agoria. They held a mock race with the old car. They will reveal their car on 3 July.

IT  Looks on track  Onda Solare 

Cruiser (Emilia 4) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year, and they have written up their design process here.

10  JP  Looks on track  Tokai University 

Challenger (new car: Tokai Challenger) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz. There has been no word on a car reveal.

11  DE  Looks on track  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Cruiser (thyssenkrupp SunRiser ) – Bochum is not building a new WSC car, but are improving their sexy 2-seater SunRiser, which came 3rd in 2015. They also have a solar buggy team. As in previous years, they participated in the Albi Eco Race.


photo: Anthony Dekker

12  GB  Looks on track  Cambridge University 

Cruiser (new car: Helia) – they are busy with fabrication. There has been no word on a car reveal.

14  AU  Looks on track  Flinders University 

Cruiser (Investigator Mk III) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes.

15  AU  Looks on track  Western Sydney Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Unlimited 3) – they won the American Solar Challenge last year (with their Challenger car Unlimited 2.0). There has been no word on a car reveal.

16  US  Looks on track  Stanford Solar Car Project 

Challenger (new car) – they have revealed their shell, which is a unique asymmetric bullet car.

18  MY  Looks on track  EcoPhoton / UiTM 

Challenger (new car: Tigris) – see their first and second vlogs (in Bahasa Malaysia). There has been no word on a car reveal.

20  GB  Looks on track  Durham University 

Challenger (new car: Ortus) – they have been doing outreach, as well as fabrication. There has been no word on a car reveal.

21  NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Twente 

Challenger (new car: Red E) – they are already producing regular vlogs (in Dutch), and have also produced an (English) day-in-the-life blog post. They have revealed their design, which is a GaAs catamaran (see the animation here). They will run a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car, and will reveal their 2019 car on (of course!) 21 June.

22  SE  Looks on track  MDH Solar Team 

Challenger (Viking) – they have been doing some testing. They will reveal their car on 29 June.

23  SE  Hmmm  Halmstad University Solar Team 

Challenger (new team with car: HeartTwo) – their render showed a bullet car, much like Michigan’s 2017 entry, although the chassis suggests outriggers of some kind (with the associated drag issues). They revealed their car on 11 June (pic), but without any really good pictures of the completed vehicle.

25  HK  Looks on track  Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Cruiser (Sophie 6s) – they have been working on the car body. They will reveal their car on 6 July.

30  AU  Looks on track  Team Arrow 

Cruiser (ArrowSTF) – they have done a six-month-out update video.

Team Arrow 6 Months to #BWSC19 Update

31  CH  Looks on track  Solar Energy Racers 

Challenger (SER-3) – they raced this car in South Africa. They have packed a crate for Australia.

37  JP  Hmmm  Goko High School

Challenger (new car: Musoushin) – this high-school team always does very well. There has been no word on a car reveal.

39  SA  Hmmm  Estidamah 

Challenger (new car: Sana) – this was formerly the Seraaj team. There has been no word on a car reveal.

40  NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car: Stella ?) – they have turned a shipping container into an oven for production and plan to reveal their car on July 4. The bottom shell just came out.

41  AU  Hmmm  Australian National University 

Challenger (new car: MTAA Gnowee) – the car is named after a woman in Aboriginal myth who carries the sun. They are working on their mould. There has been no word on a car reveal.

42  AU  Looks on track  TAFE SA 

Cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car.

43  GB  Looks on track  Ardingly College 

Cruiser (Ardingly Solar Car) – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class, but have upgraded the car since then. They participated in the Albi Eco Race.

44  US  Looks on track  Appalachian State University (Sunergy) 

Cruiser (ROSE) – as with some European teams, they have been testing at an airport. They are also upgrading the car.

45  PL  Looks on track  Lodz Solar Team 

Cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have produced a solar baby, which is a prize that lasts.

46  SE  Looks on track  JU Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Axelent) – they have a rolling test chassis, a body, and a battery. The body design seems long and thin. They will reveal their car on 30 August.

47  JP  Looks on track  Nagoya Institute of Technology 

Challenger (new car: Horizon Ace) – no news on the new design as yet. There has been no word on a car reveal.


public domain photo

49  TH  Hmmm  Siam Technical College 

Cruiser (new car: STC-3) – there have been no reports from them on social media. There has been no word on a car reveal.

Siam Technical College BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Cruiser class)

51  SE  Looks on track  Chalmers Solar Team 

Challenger (new team with car: Alfrödull) – their final render resembles the car of the South African NWU team. They have a rolling chassis, and hope to ship the car in early June.

55  MA  Hmmm  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – their new catamaran will look like this. They have made a mould for their body, but the shipping date must be approaching fast.

63  SA  Hmmm  Alfaisal Solar Car Team 

Challenger (new car: Areej 1) – they had hoped to race at ASC 2018, but did not make it. There has been no word on a car reveal, but progress seems good, and they have both a rolling chassis and a bottom shell. The 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.

66  US  Looks on track  Berkeley (CalSol) 

Cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they have a shell. They will also attend FSGP 2019. There has been no word on a car reveal.

67  US  Looks like they might not make WSC  Golden State (UCLA / SMC) 

Cruiser (new team with car: The Golden Bear) – they have removed references to attending the WSC from their website. There has been no word on a car reveal.

70  DE  Looks on track  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Challenger (new car: Covestro Sonnenwagen) – they have a car-racing game app starring their car. They will reveal their car on 22 July.

75  AU  Looks on track  University of New South Wales / Sunswift 

Cruiser (Violet) – they have been testing their car on the track.

77  CA  Looks on track  University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

Challenger (new car: Viridian) – they plan to unveil the new car on 24 June.

80  CN  Hmmm  Beijing Institute of Technology

Cruiser (new car: Sun Shuttle III). There has been no word on a car reveal.


photo: Anthony Dekker

82  KR  Looks on track  Kookmin University Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: WooRi) – no news on the new design as yet. There has been no word on a car reveal.

KUST BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Challenger class)

84  TR  Hmmm  Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Challenger (new car: S10) – they expect the new car to be 44% more efficient than the 2015 model. There has been no word on a car reveal.


public domain photo

86  IN  Hmmm  Dyuti

Cruiser (new team with car: WattSun). There has been no word on a car reveal.


public domain photo

88  JP  Looks on track  Kogakuin University 

Challenger (new car) – they have announced their participation and held a “Solar Team Welcome Party” for new members. They will reveal their car on 27 June.

92  CA  Looks on track  ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

Challenger (Éclipse X.I) – they came an excellent 3rd in the ASC, 102 minutes behind Western Sydney, and hope to go even faster with the new battery pack in their modified car. Planned improvements are summarised in their winter newsletter.

94  US  Looks on track  University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

Cruiser (Eos II) – they are building a new car, but will race their existing one for BWSC 19.

98  AU  Hmmm  ATN Solar Car Team 

Cruiser (new team) – their team is a mixture of lecturers and students from five universities across Australia. They have tested a model in a wind tunnel. There has been no word on a car reveal.

This page last updated 20:53 on 17 June 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.


Advertisements

Albi Eco Race 2019 begins!


Image credits 1, 2, 3

The Albi Eco Race 2019 has begun. The solar-car segment (“Niveau 3”) includes Bochum University of Applied Sciences with their legendary 2011 car, SolarWorld GT (top left), as well as their sexy 2015 car, the thyssenkrupp SunRiser (top right; it will make a comeback at WSC later this year) and their 2017 car, the thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser (not shown). The French (or rather, Breton) team Eco Solar Breizh is fielding their challenger Heol and their new urban mini-Cruiser hx2 (bottom). I understand that the Lycée Jehan de Beauce (Project 28) is also participating, along with the fantastic Ardingly Solar team from the UK (who will take their Cruiser to WSC as well).

The actual solar-car race is from 9:00 to 16:30 on Saturday (French time), if I am understanding the timetable correctly. There are active Twitter feeds from Ardingly, Bochum, Eco Solar Breizh, and of course the race itself.

Sadly, it looks like rain.


Image credits 1, 2, 3

Edit: it seems that the SolarWorld GT suffered some damage, which means that only two Bochum cars are competing. Also, hx2 is not competing in the solar-car segment. Below are the speeds from the qualifiers.

Further edit: The thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser won the event on points. The thyssenkrupp SunRiser came second, with 119 laps in 8 hours, i.e. an average of about 53 km/h. Heol from Eco Solar Breizh came third.


2019 World Solar Challenge update #5


Michigan’s Novum, after having arrived second in 2017 (photo: Anthony Dekker)

Warning: this list is obsolete. Please check more recent posts.

Here is a further update on the 51 teams (27 Challengers, 23 Cruisers, and 1 Adventure car) aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Many teams are busy with construction, and below is my best understanding of the current team status (it does not yet reflect the to-be-published official list of teams). A few things have changed since my last list, and I have added some pictures and corrected some errors.

Meanwhile, 25 teams – Bridger, Calgary, CalSol (1st in 2017), Esteban (3rd in 2017), Florida, Ga Tech, Illini, Illinois St, Kentucky, Mich St, Missouri S&T, NCSU, NJIT, Northwestern, Principia, PrISUm, Purdue, Rutgers, SIUE, UBC, UPRM, UT, UVA, W Mich, and Waterloo, including 1 WSC team – are preparing to attend FSGP 2019 in America this July.

Recent BWSC news is that JU Solar Team have a body, that Eindhoven have a bottom shell, that Top Dutch and CalSol also have shells, and that Bochum have clarified their plans.

In addition, on 24–25 May, the Albi Eco Race will have Bochum competing against Ardingly and several French cars (see my report on the 2018 event).

AU  Looks on track  Adelaide University 

Challenger (Lumen II) – they have been doing a lot of testing.

AU  Hmmm  ATN Solar Car Team 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – their team is a mixture of lecturers and students from five universities across Australia. They have tested a model in a wind tunnel.

AU  Hmmm  Australian National University 

Challenger (new car: MTAA Gnowee) – the car is named after a woman in Aboriginal myth who carries the sun. They are working on their mould.

AU  Looks on track  Flinders University 

Cruiser (Investigator Mark III) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes.

AU  Looks on track  TAFE SA 

Cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car.

AU  Looks on track  Team Arrow 

Cruiser (ArrowSTF) – they have done a six-month-out update video.

Team Arrow 6 Months to #BWSC19 Update

AU  Looks on track  University of New South Wales / Sunswift 

Cruiser (Violet) – they have been testing their car on the track.

AU  Looks on track  Western Sydney Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – they won the American Solar Challenge last year (with their Challenger car Unlimited 2.0).

BE  Looks on track  Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven) 

Challenger (new car: BluePoint) – they have some (top secret) production moulds and are now sponsored by Agoria. They held a mock race with the old car.

CA  Looks on track  ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

Challenger (Éclipse X.I) – they came an excellent 3rd in the ASC, 102 minutes behind Western Sydney, and hope to go even faster with the new battery pack in their modified car. Planned improvements are summarised in their winter newsletter.

CA  Looks on track  University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

Challenger (new car: Viridian) – they plan to unveil the new car in July.

CL  Hmmm  Antakari Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – no news on the new design as yet.

Antakari BWSC 2013 aftermovie (they participated in the Adventure class)

CL  Hmmm  Eolian AutoSolar 

Cruiser (new car: Auriga ) – they will be back at the WSC after coming 14th in 2007.


public domain photo

DE  Looks on track  Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Cruiser (thyssenkrupp SunRiser ) – Bochum is not building a new WSC car, but are improving their sexy 2-seater SunRiser, which came 3rd in 2015. They also have a solar buggy team. As in previous years, they are participating in the Albi Eco Race.


photo: Anthony Dekker

DE  Looks on track  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Challenger (new car) – they have a car-racing game app starring their car.

HK  Looks on track  Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Cruiser (Sophie 6 plus) – they have been working on the car body.

IN  Looks like they might not make WSC  R.V. College of Engineering 

Challenger (new car) – no details as yet.


public domain photo

IN  Hmmm  SolarMobil Manipal 

Cruiser (SM-S2) – existing car.

IR  Hmmm  University of Tehran 

Cruiser (new car: Persian Gazelle 4) – they will unveil their car on 11 June.


public domain photo

IT  Looks like they might not make WSC  Futuro Solare Onlus 

Cruiser (new car: Archimede 2.0) – they have an exciting design concept.

IT  Looks on track  Onda Solare 

Cruiser (Emilia 4) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year, and they have written up their design process here.

JP  Looks on track  Kogakuin University 

Challenger (new car) – they have announced their participation and held a “Solar Team Welcome Party” for new members.

JP  Looks on track  Nagoya Institute of Technology 

Challenger (new car) – no news on the new design as yet.


public domain photo

JP  Looks on track  Tokai University 

Challenger (new car) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz.

KR  Looks on track  Kookmin University Solar Team 

Challenger (new car) – no news on the new design as yet.

KUST BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Challenger class)

MY  Looks on track  EcoPhoton / UiTM 

Challenger (new car: Tigris) – see their first vlog (in Bahasa Malaysia).

MA  Looks like they might not make WSC  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – their new catamaran will look like this. They have made a mould for their body.

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car: Stella ?) – they have turned a shipping container into an oven for production and plan to reveal their car on July 4. The bottom shell just came out.

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Twente 

Challenger (new car: Red E) – they are already producing regular vlogs (in Dutch), and have also produced an (English) day-in-the-life blog post. They have revealed their design, which is a GaAs catamaran (see the animation here). They will run a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car, and will reveal their 2019 car on (of course!) 21 June.

NL  Looks on track  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they have a shell, which looks a lot like Michigan’s Novum.

NL  Looks on track  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their 2017 aftermovie.

PL  Looks on track  Lodz Solar Team 

Cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have produced a solar baby, which is a prize that lasts.

PL  Looks like they might not make WSC  PUT Solar Dynamics 

Cruiser (new team) – they are making a mould for their body.

SG  Looks on track  Singapore Polytechnic 

Cruiser (SunSPEC 5) – they have new motors and new doors.

SE  Looks on track  Chalmers Solar Team 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – their final render resembles the car of the South African NWU team. They have been working on their suspension, and hope to ship the car in early June.

SE  Looks on track  Halmstad University Solar Team 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they are planning a bullet car, much like Michigan’s 2017 entry.

SE  Looks on track  JU Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Axelent) – they have a rolling test chassis and a body. The body design seems long and thin.

SE  Looks on track  MDH Solar Team 

Challenger (MDH Solar Car) – they have been doing some testing.

CH  Looks on track  Solar Energy Racers 

Challenger (SER-3) – they raced this car in South Africa.

TW  Looks on track  Kaohsiung / Apollo 

Cruiser (new car: Apollo IX) – they have been making some carbon-fibre seats.

TH  Looks like they might not make WSC  Siam Technical College 

Cruiser (new car: STC-3) – no news on the new design as yet.

Siam Technical College BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Cruiser class)

TR  Looks like they might not make WSC  Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Challenger (new car) – they expect the new car to be 44% more efficient than the 2015 model.


public domain photo

GB  Looks on track  Ardingly College 

Cruiser – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class, but have upgraded the car since then. They have been entertaining royalty, and will participate in the Albi Eco Race.

GB  Looks on track  Cambridge University 

Cruiser (new car: Helia) – they are busy with fabrication.

GB  Looks on track  Durham University 

Challenger (new car: Ortus) – they have been doing outreach, as well as fabrication.

US  Looks on track  Appalachian State University (Sunergy) 

Cruiser (new team: see my team bio) – as with some European teams, they have been testing at an airport.

US  Looks on track  Berkeley (CalSol) 

Cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they have a shell. They will also attend FSGP 2019.

US  Looks on track  Houston School District 

Adventure (Sundancer) – this high school team from from Houston, Mississippi is a regular visitor, because they keep winning the US high school race.

US  Looks on track  Stanford Solar Car Project 

Challenger (new car) – they have revealed their shell, which is a unique asymmetric bullet car.

US  Looks on track  University of Michigan 

Challenger (new car) – they are asking for name suggestions for the new car.

Michigan BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 2nd in the Challenger class)

US  Looks on track  University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

Cruiser (new car: Freya) – they have posted a progress video on Facebbok.

UMNSVP BWSC 2015 aftermovie (they came 5th in the Cruiser class)

This page last updated 23:09 on 18 May 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.


iESC Race Report #3

Detailed results for the recent iLumen European Solar Challenge (iESC) have just been released. The two charts above (for Challengers) and below (for Cruisers) visualise the results. The “Total” bar on the left in each case is the sum of the other bars, which reflect points for the various sub-challenges. In the Challenger class:

  • Twente won, with Red Shift (which did the most laps) and also came second with the older Red One (which did almost as many laps, as well as doing the fastest lap and winning the KO chicane);
  • Aachen came third in their Sonnenwagen, having put in a good all-round performance; and
  • Megalux came fourth overall, having come third in the lap count.

In the Cruiser class:

  • Lodz won, with the highest calculated cruiser score (they also won the safety sub-challenge, about which I’ve heard nothing);
  • Bochum came second and third in their sexy SunRiser and blue.cruiser; and
  • Kratos EAFIT–Postobon came fourth overall, in their lovely solar sports vehicle, having run the fastest lap, won the regularity sub-challenge, and come third in the KO chicane.

See here for more information on the teams. Well done to everybody for coping so well with the terrible weather!

Update: And don’t forget to watch the great series of videos from Bochum.


iESC Race Report #1

The iLumen European Solar Challenge (iESC) in Belgium has held the KO Chicane component of the event, under extremely wet conditions (see this!).

This component of iESC counts for 20% of final points. On mean times, Cruisers were 2.1 seconds faster in the Chicane than Challengers. The revised chart below (click to zoom) reflects the scoring (which, it must be said, has Bochum bringing home the bacon so far). Times shown are the best out of qualifying, semi-final, and final times. See also this excellent video.

Tomorrow is the big race. For fans at home interested in the weather, here is a webcam nearby, looking towards the Zolder racetrack. See also my iESC teams list and information page and the live timing board.


ASC 9: Aerodynamics

For both the Challenger class and the Cruiser class, solar car racing is to a large extent about aerodynamic drag. That’s overwhelmingly what the hard-earned solar energy is being wasted on, and therefore it’s what teams need to concentrate on minimising. The drag force on a car is given by the equation:

F = ½ Cd A ρ v2

Breaking that down, v is the speed of the car, ρ is the density of air (about 1.2), A is the frontal area of the car, and Cd is the drag coefficient, a number which indicates how aerodynamic (and therefore, how energy-efficient) the shape of the car is. For Challengers, minimising Cd allows the speed v to be increased, while for Cruisers (for which the average v is essentially given), minimising Cd allows non-solar energy use to be minimised. Of course, minimising frontal area is important too (and that is the motivation behind asymmetric Challenger cars).

To give a feeling for the all-important Cd, here are some vehicles with values ranging from 0.19 to 0.57:


Drag coefficients for a selection of vehicles. Clockwise from top left: 0.57 – Hummer H2 (photo: Thomas Doerfer); 0.30 – Saab 92 (photo: “Liftarn”); 0.26 – BMW i8 (photo: “youkeys”); 0.19 – General Motors EV1 (photo: Rick Rowen)

Because Cd is so all-important, it is the one thing that solar car teams are really secretive about. Challengers generally have values under 0.1. With no need for practicality, they chase their way towards the impossible goal of Cd = 0, trying to come up with the perfect race car, which will slice through air like a hot knife through butter:


Nuon’s 2005 car, Nuna 3, with Cd = 0.07 (photo: Hans-Peter van Velthoven)

Cruisers, on the other hand, have to balance aerodynamics with practicality. Bochum’s early SolarWorld GT had Cd = 0.137:


Bochum’s 2011 car, SolarWorld GT, with Cd = 0.137 (photo: “SolarLabor”)

Eindhoven’s recent Stella Vie, with its sleek aerodynamic shape, does much better than that (but they won’t say how much better):


Eindhoven’s 2017 car, Stella Vie (photo: TU Eindhoven, Bart van Overbeeke)

I understand that Sunswift’s 2013–2015 car eVe had Cd = 0.16. Appalachian State (Sunergy) have stated that their newly-built ROSE has Cd = 0.17. PrISUm’s Penumbra has a higher value (Cd = 0.2), because of the blunt end which they chose for practicality reasons (although they did do a few clever things to reduce the impact of that blunt end). I’m not aware of the Cd values for other ASC cars.


Appalachian State’s beautiful ROSE, with Cd = 0.17 (image credit)


ASC 8: About Cruiser Practicality

The American Solar Challenge Cruiser class is a contest for multi-person solar vehicles, each powered by 5 square metres of silicon solar cells (or 3.3 m2 of multi-junction cells), with the option of recharging from the grid. The contest is not actually a race – cars must get to the finish line on time, carrying as many people as possible, and drawing as little power from the grid as possible.

Cars are also scored partly on practicality. This can mean different things. Eindhoven’s 2015 car (Stella Lux), for example, was designed as a four-person family car, and the team took photos of it doing family things like shopping, going on holiday, and picking children up from school. A big feature was that, for an average family in the Netherlands, the car would produce more electricity than it used. The car scored 84.5 for practicality at the 2015 World Solar Challenge.


Eindhoven’s Stella Lux (photos: TU Eindhoven, Bart van Overbeeke 1, 2, 3, 4 – click to zoom)

Bochum’s 2015 car (ThyssenKrupp SunRiser), on the other hand, was a luxury two-person sports car, with leather seats and an incredibly beautiful interior. It was an almost perfect example of the car it was trying to be, and scored 80.5 for practicality (far higher than the next car, which scored 63.5).


Bochum’s ThyssenKrupp SunRiser (photo: Anthony Dekker)

One of the highest WSC 2017 Cruiser practicality scores went to PrISUm for their four-seat Penumbra, which was intended as the kind of practical SUV that you might take on a fishing trip. The car has plenty of room for carrying your esky, tackle box, etc. PrISUm deliberately made some aerodynamic compromises in order to achieve their practicality goal, and the car scored 79.8 for practicality at WSC 2017.


PrISUm’s Penumbra (composite image)

This year at ASC, PrISUm’s Penumbra is again a strong contender. Minnesota (UMNSVP), Appalachian State (Sunergy), and Waterloo (Midnight Sun) are entering two-person solar sports cars, while Onda Solare from Italy seems to be inspired by Eindhoven (see my annotated teams list). It promises to be an interesting field.