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Sydney team take up solar car challenge

26th Jul 2012

Solar energy has all sorts of applications and now a team in Sydney has decided to harness the technology to power a car.

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) Solar Car Team is hoping to triumph at the 2013 World Solar Challenge - a road race between Darwin and Adelaide.

Competitors are asked to construct a vehicle that is powered entirely by solar energy and the 35-strong Sydney team is hoping to come out on top.

UWS engineering alumni and team leader Jay Manley said that two of the main challenges are management and efficiency.

"We're aiming for an average speed of 100 kilometres per hour for the 3000-kilometre distance all on the power of a conventional toaster," he explained.

The 4.5-metre by 1.6-metre vehicle will be made out of lightweight carbon fibre and will feature an in-wheel motor designed to make the most of the solar power.

Theoretically, the car should be capable of reaching a top speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

We recently reported on the success of a solar powered plane that successfully flew from western Switzerland to the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

It just goes to show that solar transport is no longer the reserve of science fiction - solar powered cars might be zooming around the streets before we know it!

Posted by Mike Peacock


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