The World Solar Challenge, held in Australia, ended on Thursday with an impressive win by the Dutch team from Delft University of Technology. The solar car, designed and constructed by the students, completed the remarkable 3,000-kilometer race in 33.05 hours.
The race takes place every two years, when teams from more than 20 countries compete between 8am and 5pm each day of the five-day race. Promoting their alternative vehicle engines and advanced automotive technology, students and engineers from international universities and private entrepreneurs competed against each other.
The main condition to participate is that the cars are mainly powered by the sun and the kinetic forces of the vehicles, although some energy could be stored. The teams could stop at seven checkpoints, in order to do basic maintenance of the solar vehicles and get information about their position in the competition and the weather.
Now the final ranking. The first to cross the finish line were the makers of Nuna 7 from Delft, followed closely by Japan’s Tokai University, Nuon. The factor that determined the winner was the weather. The Japanese team was forced to stop and recharge only 50 kilometers away from the final, although they calculated everything very carefully in advance. But let’s face it, who could create a better technology to handle rainy conditions than the Dutch, after all. The third in line were the guys from another Dutch University, Twente , followed by the vehicle constructed by the Stanford University’s team. Fifth place went to the Belgium’s Punch Powertrain.
Well done to all participants. The remarkable innovations that all teams presented only increase the anticipation for what could the next edition of the World Solar Challenge have in store.