World Solar Challenge Speeds

The chart above (click to zoom) summarises speeds for WSC cars, as per the WSC website.

Update: A few people have pointed out some problems with the numbers behind this chart.


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


My Personal WSC Gem Awards Part 1

The faster than lightning gem goes to team 8 (Agoria, formerly Punch). They built a fantastic car, and drove it at the maximum safe speed, giving them a well-deserved win. Congratulations!

The best new team gem goes to team 6 (Top Dutch). They did everything well: fund-raising, media, construction (the build quality of the car is superb), logistics, testing, and racing. A well-deserved fourth place! Other new teams would be well-advised to emulate the approach taken by this team.

The most beautiful car gem goes to team 21 (Twente) for their tiny little car. It took a lot of clever engineering to make a car that small! The aero drag on the car is, I understand, around the same force as the weight of a large (1.5 l) bottle of water. Sadly, a wind gust overturned the car during the race, but here again the car perfectly fulfilled its task of keeping the driver safe. A wonderful car!

The consistency gem goes to team 92 (ETS Quebec / Éclipse). While cars elsewhere were crashing and catching fire, they continued to drive at a very consistent speed (lowest standard deviation of the ten leg speeds – see the pink line in the graph). They finished as best Canadian team, second North American team, and ninth in the world. Well done!


World Solar Challenge race chart 4

Another race chart (I’m using the same baseline speed I used in 2017). The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later).

After repairs, Kogakuin and Aachen have reached Adelaide, followed by Antakari, Nagoya, Eclipse, and Jönköping University. Blue Sky are in Adelaide, but do not seem to have crossed the ceremonial finish line yet.


World Solar Challenge race chart 3

A third preliminary version of my race chart (I’m using the same baseline speed I used in 2017). The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later).

More tragedy as Vattenfall is out of the race with a fire. The Belgians won the event (below), followed by Tokai and by Michigan (who were delayed by a time penalty). The fantastic new team Top Dutch came fourth.


World Solar Challenge race chart 2

Another preliminary version of my race chart (I’m using the same baseline speed I used in 2017). The right vertical axis shows arrival time at “end of timing” in Darwin time (Adelaide time is an hour later).

Tragedy for front-runner Twente (story here) and for Kogakuin and Sonnenwagen Aachen (although Aachen is back on the road and Kogakuin hope to be so too). The Belgians are closing in on Vattenfall.

In the Cruiser Class (not shown), there are only 3 non-trailered teams.

On a personal note, Scientific Gems is now in Adelaide!