World Solar Challenge Cruiser Scores Revisited

Above (click to zoom) are the World Solar Challenge 2019 Cruiser practicality scores. Image credits are as per my illustrated list of teams. That list also includes practicality score guesses – but I did a poor job of guessing (a correlation of only 0.75 with actual scores). That reflects the change in practicality scoring this year, with several of the less subjective elemehts removed. Four cars this year had higher practicality scores than when they last appeared:

  • Minnesota (team 35) from 57 to 76.3 (a surprisingly large change, although it is a very nice car)
  • Flinders (team 14) from 46.7 to 63.7 (this team did make many improvements)
  • HK IVE (team 25) from 45.2 to 63.4 (this team did make many improvements)
  • Lodz (team 45) from 79.1 to 82.4 (a surprisingly small change, given the extensive improvements)

Two cars had lower practicality scores than when they last appeared:

  • Bochum (team 11; they fielded this car in 2015) from 80.5 to 75.1 (a surprising score, given the fantastic interior)
  • Sunswift (team 75) from 80 to 69.5 (also surprising, although they did take the rear seats out)

The chart above (click to zoom) shows final Cruiser scores (including practicality) in the style of my previous chart. The score is calculated as a product S = D × H × (1 / E) × P × 0.99l. The chart shows the components of the score on a logarithmic scale, so that multiplying and dividing score components corresponds to adding and subtracting bars. For each team, there are 6 bars (the 6th bar, in a darker colour, is the total score):

  1. The distance travelled in km (D). Teams given credit for completing the entire course score ahead of others.
  2. The weighted average number of humans (H) in the car (so that the product D×H is the number of person-kilometres). A small tick mark above the bar shows the number of seats in the car, which is the maximum possible value of H for that team.
  3. The nominal external energy usage (E) in kWh (initial battery capacity, plus metered charging along the way). This bar is negative, because we are dividing by E.
  4. The practicality score divided by 100. This bar is negative, since the highest possible value is 1.0 (this means that longer bars mean lower values). A tick mark under the column shows the lowest practicality score across all six teams, which is 0.534.
  5. The lateness factor (0.99l), where l is the number of minutes of late arrival, plus the number of demerit points.
  6. The total score (S). The score itself is shown over the bar. It can be seen by inspection that this bar is the sum of the others.

Well done, Eindhoven!


My Personal WSC Gem Awards Part 2

The reliability gem goes to team 11 (Bochum University of Applied Sciences). Their thyssenkrupp SunRiser has clocked up over 16,000 km, I understand. It drove the entire 3022 km of the World Solar Challenge in 2015, and again this year. It came 3rd at iESC 16, 2nd in the iESC 18 Cruiser class, 7th at Albi Eco 18 (with 100 laps), and 2nd at Albi Eco 19 (with 119 laps). And it’s still the sexiest Cruiser-class car around.

The disco lights gem goes to team 40 (Eindhoven). Eindhoven also scored highest on Cruiser-class efficiency, carrying an average of 2.63 people for 71.24 kWh of external energy. The car also has an understated elegance. And the disco lights serve a serious purpose: they show battery charge, and the ability of Stella Era to act as a mobile charging station.

And a special best use of tape gem goes to team 88 (Kogakuin), with team 70 (Sonnenwagen Aachen) a close second.


World Solar Challenge Cruiser Scores

The chart above (click to zoom) shows scoring for Cruiser class cars arriving at Adelaide, in a modified version of my “tuning fork” style. The score is calculated as a product S = D × H × (1 / E) × 0.99l. The chart shows the components of the score on a logarithmic scale, so that multiplying and dividing score components corresponds to adding and subtracting bars. For each team, there are 6 bars (the 6th bar, in a darker colour, is the total score):

  1. The distance travelled in km (D). Teams completing the entire course score ahead of others.
  2. The weighted average number of humans (H) in the car (so that the product D×H is the number of person-kilometres). A small tick mark above the bar shows the number of seats in the car, which is the maximum possible value of H for that team.
  3. The nominal external energy usage (E) in kWh (initial battery capacity, plus metered charging along the way). This bar is negative, because we are dividing by E.
  4. The fourth place, labelled P, is reserved for the incorporation of practicality in the final score.
  5. The lateness factor (0.99l), where l is the number of minutes of late arrival, plus the number of demerit points.
  6. The total score (S). The score itself is shown over the bar. It can be seen by inspection that this bar is the sum of the others.

Well done, Eindhoven!

Update 1: I note that Sunswift’s car has been modified to have 2 seats, rather than 4.

Update 2: See here for an updated chart.


World Solar Challenge September 3 update

In the leadup to the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this October, most cars have been revealed (see my recently updated illustrated list of teams), with JU’s reveal a few days ago (see below), and Tokai’s reveal due in a few hours.

There are now 9 international teams in Australia (more than the number of local teams). Eindhoven (#40), Agoria (#8), and part of Vattenfall (#3) are driving north to Darwin, while Top Dutch (#6) have a workshop in Port Augusta (and living quarters in Quorn).


JU’s solar car Axelent (photo credit)

The chart below shows progress in submitting compulsory design documents for the race. White numbers highlight eight teams with no visible car or no visible travel plans:

  • #86 Sphuran Industries Private Limited (Dyuti) – this team is probably not a serious entry. I will eat my hat if they turn up in Darwin.
  • #63 Alfaisal Solar Car Team – recently, they have gone rather quiet, but they have a working car.
  • #89 Estidamah – they have not responded to questions. They also might not turn up, although they have obtained several greens for compulsory documents.
  • #80 Beijing Institute of Technology – they never say much, but they always turn up in the end. I don’t expect this year to be any different.
  • #4 Antakari Solar Team – they are clearly behind schedule, but they are an experienced team. They will probably turn up. (edit: they have revealed a beautiful bullet car)
  • #55 Mines Rabat Solar Team – they seem to have run out of time. Can they finish the car and raise money for air freight? I’m not sure. (edit: it seems that they will attend the Moroccan Solar Challenge instead of WSC)
  • #98 ATN Solar Car Team and #41 Australian National University  – these teams are obviously in trouble but, being Australian, they should still turn up in Darwin with a car. (edit: both teams have since revealed cars)



World Solar Challenge late August update

In the leadup to the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this October, most cars have been revealed (see my recently updated illustrated list of teams), and the first few international teams (#2 Michigan, #3 Vattenfall, #6 Top Dutch, #8 Agoria, and #40 Eindhoven) have arrived in Australia (see map above). Bochum (#11), Twente (#21), and Sonnenwagen Aachen (#70) are not far behind. Eindhoven (#40) are currently engaged in a slow drive north, while Top Dutch (#6) have a workshop in Port Augusta (and living quarters in Quorn).

Meanwhile, pre-race paperwork is being filled in, with Bochum (#11) and Twente (#21) almost complete. Sphuran Industries from India (#86) is not looking like a serious entrant. On a more positive note, though, Jönköping University Solar Team (#46) is revealing their car later today!


Solar car map of the Netherlands plus borderlands

Below (click to zoom) is a solar car map of the Netherlands (north, south, east, west), plus the German cities of Aachen & Bochum and the Belgian city of Leuven, which are close enough to the Dutch border to be in the map region. That’s 7 solar car teams in a very small corner of the world! (base map modified from one by Alphathon).


World Solar Challenge: current activities

 
 
Four representative solar car team activities in the lead-up to the World Solar Challenge in October – Top left: Cambridge revealed their Cruiser on 15 August (photo: Nigel); Top right: Solar Team Eindhoven packed up their Cruiser for air transport to Australia, as also did Top Dutch (photo: Bart van Overbeeke / STE); Bottom left: Agoria Solar Team (Belgium) did some final testing at Beauvechain Air Base in less than perfect weather (credit); Bottom right: Bochum SolarCar Projekt is staring at a map as their container slowly travels to Australia by sea – the ship was expected in Fremantle today, en route to Melbourne and Sydney (credit)