Farewell to solar cars


Farewell Stella Vie (car photo: Bart van Overbeeke; landscape: public domain)

The extensive solar car coverage on this blog is now over (until the next race). Back to ordinary science coverage now…


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WSC: final Cruiser results

Based on the official results, the chart below (click to zoom) shows the final scores for the WSC Cruiser class. 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 ratio of those first two numbers). The rule for the efficiency score bar is: first bar divided by 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 chart below (click to zoom) shows the raw practicality scores for all Cruisers (finishing, non-finishing, and non-starting).


WSC: three gem awards


Nuna9, the car from Nuon Solar Team

It has been my tradition to hand out “Gem Awards” after major solar car races. This WSC, the “Faster Than Lightning” gem again goes to Nuon Solar Team, the undefeated Challenger champions.


The 2017 “Faster Than Lightning” gem goes to Nuon Solar Team

 


Stella Vie, the car from Solar Team Eindhoven

The “Solar Family Car” gem again goes to Solar Team Eindhoven. They completely dominated the Cruiser class.


The 2017 “Solar Family Car” gem goes to Solar Team Eindhoven

 


Western Sydney Solar Team

The “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team, for the way that they welcomed international teams passing through Sydney. Western Sydney Solar Team are, of course, also Australian champions in the Challenger class.


The 2017 “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team


WSC: The Cruiser class

The chart below (click to zoom) shows the current state of play for the WSC Cruiser class, using data from the official website (although it seems to me that there are some roundoff errors in those numbers). Each team has three coloured bars: first the number of person-kilometres (black icons show occupied seats and white icons empty seats), then the energy usage (number of charges, which is 1, times battery capacity), and finally the overall score (which is the ratio of those two numbers). The black number in the final bar shows the ranking. All bars are scaled to a percentage of the maximum. It can be seen that Eindhoven has a solid lead (and they will display their own performance in detail here).


World Solar Challenge: spotted in action

This updated table shows the 35 (out of 42) cars in the World Solar Challenge which have been spotted on the track or on the road as at 20:40 on Wed, Oct 4 (Darwin time). There are links to photos and to team social media. The third column of the table shows the car class (or, for Cruisers, the number of seats). For more detailed information about the teams, see my annotated teams list.

2 Cha University of Michigan  – see photo
3 Cha Nuon Solar Team  – see photo
4   Cha Antakari Solar Team 
5 2-st Singapore Polytechnic  – see video
7 Cha Adelaide University  – see photo
8 Cha Punch Powertrain Solar Team  – see photo
9 4-st Iowa State University (PrISUm)  – see photo
10   Cha Tokai University 
11 4-st Bochum University of Applied Sciences  – see photo
12   Cha Cambridge University  – tragically, Cambridge is out of the race
14   3-st Flinders University 
15 Cha Western Sydney Solar Team  – see photo
16 Cha Stanford Solar Car Project  – see photo
18 Cha MARA University of Technology / EcoPhoton  – see photo
20 Cha Durham University  – see photo
21 Cha Solar Team Twente  – see video
22 Cha MDH Solar Team  driving with a temporary battery (problem described here)
23   4-st University of Tehran  – no car yet
25 Cha Nagoya Institute of Technology  – see photo
28   Cha Korea National University of Transportation 
30 2-st Clenergy Team Arrow  – see photo
32 Cha Principia Solar Car Team  – see photo
34 Cha R.V. College of Engineering  – see photo
35 2-st Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education  – see photo
37 Cha Goko High School  – see photo
38 Cha North West University  – see video
40 5-st Solar Team Eindhoven  – see photo
42 2-st TAFE SA  – see photo
43 Cha Australian National University  – see video
45 5-st Lodz Solar Team  – see photo
46 Cha JU Solar Team  – see video
49 2-st Siam Technical College  – see video
52 Adv University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  – see photo
53   Adv Mississippi Choctaw High School  – no car yet
70 Cha Sonnenwagen Aachen  – see video
71 Cha Istanbul Technical University  – see photo
75 4-st University of New South Wales / Sunswift  – see photo
77 Cha University of Toronto / Blue Sky  – see photo
82 Cha Kookmin University Solar Team  – see photo
88 Cha Kogakuin University  – see photo
94 2-st University of Minnesota  – see photo
95 2-st Kaohsiung / Apollo  – see photo


World Solar Challenge: about the Cruisers

To illustrate the World Solar Challenge Cruiser-class scoring for 2017, here is the calculation for Kogakuin’s 2015 car (above). Disclaimer: this is, of course, my personal interpretation of the regulations.

Notice that Cruisers are not in a race this year – any arrival time during the 11:00 to 14:00 time window on Friday is OK.

Arrival time

Friday 11:35.
Inside window? YES

Energy efficiency

Battery capacity, Q = 14.855 kWh
Number of recharges, n = 1 (at Alice Springs)
External energy use, U = (n + 1) Q = 29.71
Person-km, C = 3022
Energy efficiency, E = C / U = 101.7
Highest energy efficiency, E* = 203.6 (Eindhoven)
Relative energy efficiency, E / E* = 0.4996

Practicality

Practicality P = 51.75
Highest practicality, P* = 84.5 (Eindhoven)
Relative practicality, P / P* = 0.6124

Total Score

Total score, S = 80 E / E* + 20 P / P* = 39.97 + 12.25 = 52.22

This is a massively lower score for Kogakuin than was actually awarded in 2015. This year, the World Solar Challenge Cruiser Class is all about energy-efficiency, carrying passengers, and practicality. Expect to see the four-seat and five-seat Cruisers (like the Polish car below) running with every seat occupied.