World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge is a solar car race across Australia (from Darwin to Adelaide), held every two years. I blogged extensively about the 2015 event, and the 2017 race is now upon us. The official worldsolarchallenge.org website is up and running, and I have been maintaining an annotated list of teams for 2017. I have also designed a board game inspired by the race, and written some route notes. The 2017 WSC regulations include the following changes:

  • Control stop procedures have changed.
  • The maximum allowable size for cars has been increased. However, Challenger solar collector area has been reduced from 6 m2 to 4 m2 (for silicon PV). For GaAs, the area has been increased.
  • Cruiser solar collector area is reduced to 5 m2 for silicon PV cells. Also, energy storage (and recharge) limits have been removed for Cruiser Class, which will be run as a single stage ‘regularity trial.’ Success in the Cruiser Class will be based on energy efficiency, practicality, and adherence to time targets. The winner will be the Cruiser team that completes the route, arriving in Adelaide within the target time window, and having the highest value of 80 E/E* + 20 P/P* (where E is energy efficiency score, P is practicality score, and X* is highest X).
  • Adventure Class will be non-competitive.

For a more detailed analysis of the new rules, see mostdece.blogspot.com. The rule changes have resulted in some interesting size variations:

Here is a wall chart of 2017 teams (click on the image to zoom). Cruisers are listed first, then Challengers, and finally the Adventure class:

The chart is also available with a white background. There are also two charts of favourites:

  

The next chart shows the best teams since 2001. Nuon, from the Netherlands, has dominated the event:

Past posts of potential interest include:


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