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), Top Dutch (video), Twente (video), Blue Sky (video), and the commercial solar car Lightyear One (video).

Promised new car reveals include Kogakuin27 June, MDH29 June, Tehran2 July, Agoria3 July, Eindhoven4 July, HK IVE6 July, Vattenfall16 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: Electrum) – their car name is the name of a gold/silver alloy famous in antiquity. 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. They will reveal their car on 16 July.

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. Their design is a GaAs catamaran. They developed a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car. They revealed their car on 21 June (video).

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: Heart Three) – 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) – they appear to be busy with construction. 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 (blog and video). They had hoped to ship the car in 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 have a great-looking bullet car this year. They revealed their car on 24 June (video).

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 20:56 on 25 June 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.


Advertisements

2019 World Solar Challenge update #4


The happy champions from Delft on stage at the BWSC 2017 awards night (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).

Meanwhile, 26 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, USC, 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 Twente has revealed their design and that Stanford has shown the world their shell.

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.


public domain photo

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) – as well as racing, their commercial arm, Prohelion, is selling power packages.

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).

Western Sydney BWSC 2017 pre-race vlog (they came 6th in the Challenger class)

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.

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.

BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 11th in the Challenger class)

CL  Looks on track  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 (new car) – Bochum also has a solar buggy team.

DE  Looks on track  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

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

Sonnenwagen Aachen BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they raced in the Challenger class)

HK  Looks on track  Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

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

IN  Hmmm  R.V. College of Engineering 

Challenger (new car) – no details as yet.


public domain photo

IN  Hmmm  SolarMobil Manipal 

Cruiser (SM-S2) – existing car.

IT  Hmmm  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 officially announced their participation.

Kogakuin BWSC 2017 aftermovie (they came 7th in the Challenger class)

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  Hmmm  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – their new catamaran will look like this.

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car: Stella ?) – they are turning a shipping container into an oven for production and plan to reveal their car on July 4.

Eindhoven BWSC 2017 pre-race news coverage (they came 1st in the Cruiser class)

NL  Looks on track  Solar Team Twente 

Challenger (new car: Red E) – they are already producing regular vlogs, and have a vlog for February (Dutch only). 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.

NL  Looks on track  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new team: see my team bio) – they have made good progress on fabrication as well as doing promotion.

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  Hmmm  PUT Solar Dynamics 

Cruiser (new team) – they are ready to begin 3D-printing some prototypes.

RU  Hmmm  Polytech Solar 

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


public domain photo

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.

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) – they have a rolling test chassis. 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  Hmmm  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  Hmmm  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.

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 begun 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 bottom shell and roll cage. 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) – no news on the new design as yet.

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

This page last updated 19:37 on 8 April 2019 AEST


Media teams and the World Solar Challenge

In the lead up to the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October, wise solar car teams are building their media and social media presence. This has all kinds of benefits. It grows the fan base, and fans sometimes respond to crowd-funding campaigns. Even if they don’t, fans provide moral support. A media/social media presence also helps to attract sponsors, either as a result of a potential sponsor reading a story, or as a result of a potential sponsor googling a team.


Two solar-car media stories, the left from Algemeen Dagblad in the Netherlands (January 2019), and the right from the New Straits Times in Malaysia (September 2018). The orange team shirt on the left has instant brand recognition for both the team and the major sponsor.

Above are two good media stories, one from the champions in Delft, and the other from the newer Ecophoton team in Malaysia. It often helps to place a story if there is a local connection. It’s big news in Zwolle (population 127,000) that a local girl is team leader of Vattenfall Solar Team. It’s even bigger news in Abcoude (population 8,800) that a local student is on the team. During the American Solar Challenge, solar car teams spending the night in a town are pretty much guaranteed to make the local news as well. This benefits a team’s university, in that children are likely to remember the big event when they later go to college.

Other kinds of media story are technology-focused, highlighting the role of in-kind sponsors, such as Sonnenwagen Aachen and Covestro. Transportation and logistics sponsors, like Michigan and Höegh Autoliners, also generate stories of an obvious kind. In all cases, a good team photographer contributes greatly to a good story.


Michigan loads up their famous semi trailer in June 2015 (image credit)

I’ve often pointed out that a solar car team is more like a startup company than anything else. Sponsorship and media is just as important as building and racing the car. The top teams provide a model to follow for all of these activities. Conversely, those teams which fail to recruit a subteam for sponsorship and media should not be surprised if they struggle to find sponsors (which is my cue to mention this great trio of posts on sponsorship from Australia’s Team Arrow).


2019 World Solar Challenge update


Nuon, now Vattenfall, at the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (photo: Anthony Dekker)

An update on the 53 teams (27 Challengers, 25 Cruisers, and 1 Adventure car) interested in the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge this October. The big news is that defending champions Nuon have changed their name to Vattenfall.

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

This page last updated 23:29 on 17 February 2019 AEDT