Australia is a unique country in many ways. It is not just filled with the splendid landscapes, but also full of unique ideas. You must have heard of formula one car races, but you have seldom come across the rally driving solar-powered cars. The World Solar Challenge is an electric car race that welcomes the solar-powered cars from all over the world. In the year 2017, after the gap of two years, the competitive race of solar-powered cars is around the corner.
As a precursor event, a solar-powered car named ‘Violet’ is driving across the country. The students from the University of New South Wales in Sydney designed the car, and they decided to test it on the road from Sydney to Darwin. The Violet will start its journey from Sydney and will cover the distance of around 4300 kms to Darwin. It will take part in the 30th Bridgestone World Solar Challenge where it will face tough competition from 47 teams representing 21 nations.
The race will commence from Darwin, and after covering the distance of around 3021 kms, it will culminate at Adelaide in South Australia. The Sunswift team of the University of New South Wales designed the sixth iteration of solar-powered race car Violet. Byron Kennedy, a final year electrical engineering student formed the Sunswift team in the year 1995. Their first model Sunswift I stood 9th among 42 teams in 1995. That year, the team completely purchased the Sunswift I model rather than designing it, but now they have designed an amazing four-seater solar-powered car named Violet.
Originally, the Sunswift team designed the cars for the World Solar Race, but this year they tried to take it to the levels of practicability. This event is important for Sunswift as this time they have designed an unconventional solar vehicle with much larger space, four doors, four front seats and rear boot space with reverse and parking sensors. The car will also have an interactive interior display screen, GPS, air conditioning and other features.
The solar panel on the roof and hood of this car generate power that can take this car up to 800 km. The car can run extra 400 km on the solar power stored in lithium batteries. It can attain the maximum speed of 130km/h. The design is deliberately crafted to resemble the commercial cars to showcase the solar energy as an alternative energy for daily use in transport.
The University of Adelaide is also preparing for this race with their solar cars. The Flinders University students are building a telemetry system in cars that enable the car to communicate in the areas where there is no mobile network available. The endeavor of Australian engineering students is also featured in The Imax film, Dream Big. This movie encourages young people to study science, technology, engineering and math subjects.
After learning about these examples, we can be sure that the solar automobile technology is developing well in Australian Universities. All thanks to the World Solar Race that propelled the idea of inventing new and efficient solar automobile designs.