This October, for the first time since 2009, the World Solar Challengewill be held to see what the best and the brightest from universitiesand companies around the world can bring together for a race spanningAustralia from North to South. With the race months away, informationabout some of the potential candidates has been popping up on and offrecently showing off the usual diversity in designs that range fromcompletely original solar power race cars to modified version ofpreviously existing automobiles.
One such design that is currently being built in anticipation ofparticipating in the 2011 World Solar Challenge is a modified Audi TTCoupe. The project is currently being handled by a group of studentsfrom Georgia Tech that call themselves the Solar Jackets. According tothe group, the Audi TT that they are designing will be a solar assistedelectric vehicle that will utilize a blend of plug-in electric systemsand solar power in order to become a truly electric vehicle. The solarportion of the vehicle, which is made obvious by the lines of solarpanels that begin on the hood and continue to the back of the car, willbe used primarily to power systems such as the power steering, powerbrakes, and power windows.
While the Solar Jackets are hard at work on converting their Audi TTSA-EV, as they have designated the project, they also have their own all original solar racer design that is also meant to compete in the WorldSolar Challenge this fall. Designed to seat a single driver, the vehicle is powered entirely by "high-efficiency solar cell technology" and isdesigned to be as quick, power efficient, and light as possible.
When the race comes around this October, the Solar Jackets will be among those contestants that will race the 1,877 miles across Australia toclaim the prize. Will they be victorious? Only time will tell.
Richard is a Justmeans staff writer for theEnergy and Emissions category. He is a recent graduate of WesternCarolina University in North Carolina where he studied History andProfessional Writing. With an interest in the development andapplication of the latest computer, energy, and fuel technologies, hebelieves that the world must strive, with the help of these services, to better our societies for future generations. A love of science fictionat an early age served as the platform for introducing him to the worldof alternative energy and fuel sources, and he finds it exciting to seewhat were once only dreams in the minds of creative thinkers nowbecoming a reality. Richard spends a majority of his free timeresearching subjects relating to alternative fuel and power technology,reading, writing, and video gaming.