Solar Car World Record

In 2020, I blogged about Brunel (then Vattenfall) Solar Team breaking their own world record to clock up 924 km in 12 solar-powered hours on the track, for an average of 77 km/h (see above).

I was busy at the time, but I need to mention that Agoria Solar Team from Belgium broke that record last month in their BluePoint Atlas, clocking up 1,051 km (653 miles) in 12 solar-powered hours on the track, for an average of 87.6 km/h or 54.4 mph (see below). Congratulations, zuiderburen! That’s going to be a tough record to beat.


Sasol Solar Challenge 2022

Here is a list of 9 teams from 3 countries (8 Challenger teams and 1 Cruiser team) intending to race in the Sasol Solar Challenge in September this year, with scrutineering beginning on the 4th (Alfaisal Solar Car Team, SunShuttle, and high school team Sonke seem to have dropped off the list). See also the race social media at      

NL  Brunel Solar Team (Delft) 

Three-wheel (outrigger) challenger (Nuna11s) – their latest car features an asymmetrical top surface (to create more downforce on the left wheel). As usual, they have modified the car for the South African race, to give an “s” version. This includes building a more powerful motor and returning to having a lithium ion battery. The team has already flown out.

Previously, Delft won WSC 13; won WSC 15; won WSC 17; came 12th at WSC 19; won SASOL 14; won SASOL 16; won SASOL 18; and came 3rd at SCM 21. Their team number (3) is a long-standing tradition.

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

BE  Agoria Solar Team / KU Leuven 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (BluePoint Atlas) – they are racing their record-breaking monohull here, and their older BluePoint in Belgium. During the race, they can be tracked at live.solarteam.be.

Previously, Agoria came 6th at WSC 13; came 5th at WSC 15; came 3rd at WSC 17; won WSC 19; came 3rd at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at iESC 16; came 6th at iESC 18; came 1st and 6th at iESC 20; won iESC 21; won Carrera Solar Atacama 18; and came 2nd at SCM 21. Their team number (8) is a long-standing tradition.

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

ZA  Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) 

Challenger (new car: Sun Chaser 4) – they won a preliminary race in Mpumalanga against NWU and Genuine JV.

Previously, TUT came 6th at SASOL 16; came 4th at SASOL 18; and won Ilanga Cup 22.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

ZA  North West University 

Challenger (Naledi 2.0) – they are looking to reclaim the “best South African team” title, which they lost to TUT in 2018, by heavily modifying their original Naledi. So far the car looks good.

Previously, NWU came 11th at WSC 15; participated at WSC 17; came 4th at SASOL 14; came 4th at SASOL 16; came 5th at SASOL 18; and came 2nd at Ilanga Cup 22.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

ZA  Genuine JV Solar Car Team  

Asymmetric challenger (new team with car: Voltwagen) – this is a new team, from Hoër Tegnologiese Skool John Vorster in Pretoria. Their car is the old car from Tshwane University of Technology, with improvements. Read about them in Afrikaans here.

Previously, JV came 3rd at Ilanga Cup 22.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

ZA  Central University of Technology (Seilatsatsi) 

Challenger (new car: Ntsu) – they are buidling a new car. Some components have been 3D-printed. Their car name is the Sesotho word for an eagle.

Previously, Seilatsatsi came 7th at SASOL 18.


picture credit (click image to zoom – OLD PIC)

ZA  University of the Free State 

Challenger (new team with car: Lengau) – this team is led by the Departments of Physics and Engineering Sciences at UFS. Their car name is the Sesotho word for a cheetah.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

ZA  SolarFlair

Challenger (new team with car: SolarFlair SP 400) – this team is from Mbombela in Mpumalanga province. They were a no-show in the Ilanga Cup.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

ZA  UniChamps Solar Car Team (University of South Africa)

Cruiser (new team with car: UniSolar) – they say “The car design was inspired by both the Lamborghini Countach LP500 and DeLorean DMC.” They were a no-show in the Ilanga Cup.


public domain photo

This page last updated 16:15 on 10 August 2022 AEST.


Praising Delft


Library at TU Delft (photo: Nol Aders)

The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has been mentioned a few times on this blog. It is ranked 19th in the world on the Times Higher Education list of engineering institutions.

Its history goes back to 1842, when King Willem II founded a “Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers, for serving both nation and industry, and of apprentices for trade.” It later became a Polytechnic. Following a period of competition with (and hostility from) traditional universities, it was given university status in 1905, thanks to theologian-politician Abraham Kuyper (who was thanked with an honorary doctorate in 1907).

Highlights of TU Delft’s research include the discovery (and naming) of viruses in 1898 (by Martinus Beijerinck), and the continued domination of the World Solar Challenge (TU Delft’s team won in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013, and 2015, and came second in 2009 and 2011). One of the world’s great technical institutions!


TU Delft’s solar car Nuna8 wins the 2015 World Solar Challenge (my photo)