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Solar Car Speed Record Smashed

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the hats-are-off-to-you dept.

Transportation 72

An anonymous reader writes with word from Australia that "There's a new world record for the fastest solar-powered land vehicle: 88 km/h average speed over one kilometre in a lightweight car that uses about the same power as a toaster." As the article goes on to explain, this solar racer, built last year by students from the University of New South Wales, managed to nab that speed record earlier this month on an Australian navy base airstrip.

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88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963132)

If you convert from mph to kph, that comes out to 0.79 gigawatts!

Re:88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963144)

I didn't click "anonymous" on that post, or this one.

1.21 * 0.66 = 0.7986 jiggawhats ;)

Re:88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (3, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963202)

Slashdot's been working on breaking it's own records...only 14 days since this was posted originally [slashdot.org] .

Re:88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963258)

NO doubt about it: Timothy has been drinking!

Re:88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963542)

14 days is a very long time. Usually they do it in less 14 hours. Eh, waddya expect from a machine?

Re:88 km/h average speed over one kilometre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963812)

Pssshh..
Obviously it happened just now, and on hitting 88kph he managed to generate the 1.21 kW necessary to activate his flux capacitor and go back in time 14 days to post the previous story.

But, but, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963454)

"88 km/h average speed over one kilometre"

How much is that in real speed?

Re:But, but, but . . . (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963532)

That would be 88 km/h.

Join the rest of the world!

Re:But, but, but . . . (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964458)

88 kilometres per hour is about 24.44 metres per second.

Re:But, but, but . . . (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966262)

"88 km/h average speed over one kilometre"

How much is that in real speed?

8.2*10^-8 c.

1.21GW (2)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963134)

88km/h? If only they used a metric flux capacitor...

Re:1.21GW (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963212)

88 km/h is very close to 55 MPH

Toasters use about 1.5 kW which is about 2 horsepower. If one thinks in terms of doing work lifting without other losses, that works out to about 1100 foot-pounds per second.

Re:1.21GW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963684)

Let's see if those bastards can do 56 . . .

Re:1.21GW (3, Funny)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964398)

Toasters use about 1.5kW which is about 2 horsepower

I never understood the term horsepower. Show me two horses that can make toast.

Re:1.21GW (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964720)

Show me two horses that can make toast.

Horse toasties! Yum!

Re:1.21GW (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966932)

Some may prefer to use the phone and have the toast delivered?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Mister_Ed [wikimedia.org]

These solar cars and efficiency are a great thing and all, but sometimes I'd still like to see a competition with cars shooting flames out the back, Bat-mobile style...

Re:1.21GW (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34969762)

These solar cars and efficiency are a great thing and all, but sometimes I'd still like to see a competition with cars shooting flames out the back, Bat-mobile style...

I bet those rockets cars are way better for making toast.

Re:1.21GW (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34969700)

Show me two horses that can make toast.

How about a muffin?

Re:1.21GW (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964122)

I'm gutted about this post for two reasons. Firstly I wanted to make that joke, and secondly I think you might have buggered it up. Kilometers are metric so woudln't they have to use an imperial flux capacitor? Pedantic I know, but that's what I get like when someone beats me to a punchline!

Re:1.21GW (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964154)

The way I saw it, imperial speeds should be matched with imperial flux capacitors, and metric speeds matched with metric flux capacitors. To each their own.

Re:1.21GW (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964300)

Ah yes I see what you mean - you say tomato, I say tomato (you have to do the different pronunciation in your head there). One wonders how long we'll be plagued by competing measurement systems.

Re:1.21GW (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964402)

Well the US is the only country left using the imperial system, and even then most industry uses metric (all the bolts in your car are metric for example, regardless of where it was made). Get with the times!

Re:1.21GW (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965104)

SI is the official unit system of the US as well, but we've defined the old units in SI terms so we don't have to print new signs and whatnot. Most of the time it doesn't really matter, anyway. (and where it does, you see more of the metric units.)

Re:1.21GW (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34969004)

Most of the time it doesn't really matter, anyway.

Sure it does. When I visit the US I have no idea how fast I'm going, how far something is, or how warm it is inside or out. I'd say most of the time it really matters!

Re:1.21GW (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34969774)

We still use miles in the UK too.

Re:1.21GW (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34975350)

Yes but its being phased out. When the UK joined the EU, they agreed to adopt all the EU measures which are SI based.

Re:1.21GW (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34975486)

We use metric measurements for stuff like measuring volumes and weights of food items etc, but we stil use miles as our official unit of distance on all road signs, and mph is the major unit on our speedometers. I've never seen any evidence that we have plans to change that, do you have any citations?

It would be quite a lot of effort and expense to change all our distance and speed limit signs. Not to mention we'd probably have to do it twice - once for dual units, then eventually after a few years switching to km completely, presumably after all new cars have been sold with km/h as the major unit of measurement for a good few years.

Re:1.21GW (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965086)

No, Emitt "Doc" Brown, who invented the thing, did scientific and engineering research in Hill Valley, California over a period of over 100 years (non-consecutive). He would not have used the imperial system of measurement, ever, as California is a US state and would've used US standard units instead.

US standard is similar to Imperial, but there are subtle differences. For instance, our gallons are a little bit leaner.

Re:1.21GW (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964244)

And according to the article, it uses only a little less than 1.21 KW...

Wow, broken twice in a month! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963152)

managed to nab that speed record earlier this month

Kind of like how Slashdot covered [slashdot.org] it earlier this month?

Re:Wow, broken twice in a month! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963392)

agreed, how was this missed, pull the finger out

Re:Wow, broken twice in a month! (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34972756)

Leave Slashdot alone!!

I can't drive.... (1)

RESPAWN (153636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963176)

He can't drive 55!

Re:I can't drive.... (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963462)

He can't drive 55!

And I am pretty sure my F250 would crush it. Maybe my exhaust would crush it. Mine is gas, Beloved's D3500 is diesel and his rumble might smash it.

Re:I can't drive.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966650)

I'm pretty sure we don't need idiotic comments from dumbass rednecks
like you.

Re:I can't drive.... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34967872)

"I am pretty sure my F250 would crush it"

Sure you would, if only you didn't have to spend all day filling your 35 gallon gas tank [sthmotors.com]

Re:I can't drive.... (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34970350)

"I am pretty sure my F250 would crush it"

Sure you would, if only you didn't have to spend all day filling your 35 gallon gas tank [sthmotors.com]

No,that only takes a few moments and I never let it get too dry.

rules (3, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963184)

are photovoltaics required? it would be fun to enter a steam engine / mirror driven vehicle, something large like the size of a tractor trailer with huge mirror collectors. it wouldn't be very fast but unlike the photocell models it could have an air conditioner and heater core.

YEAH BUT EVERYTHING IS DOWNHILL IN AUSTRALIA !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963204)

That is not any sort of official record in the rest of the world.

Whoosh (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963402)

Well, since they were in Australia, they actually ended up going -88 km/h.

Re:YEAH BUT EVERYTHING IS DOWNHILL IN AUSTRALIA !! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963558)

They must have done one run going north and another going south. The real trick is sticking to the underside of the planet while in motion.

Hulk no like land speed record! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963208)

HULK SMASH!!

Landspeed record for disabled cars? ( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963224)

This seems rather low, and certainly not a record. Unless they compete in a "differently abled" class?

The Nuna 2 solar powered car that won the World Solar Challenge in 2003 had the following stats for the race:
Total race time: 31 hr 5 mins.
Average speed: 97,02 Km/h
Topspeed: 130 km/h
Top speed they had during Adante tour in 2004: 145 km/h
Link: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMCCBZO4HD_Benefits_2.html [esa.int]

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuna_5 [wikipedia.org] for the stats of the Nuna 5.

Theoretical max speed: 175 km/h

Keep in mind that this was done by a (Dutch) university team as well.

Considering the fact that the sunswift team wants to compete in the WSC as well - I think they either need to get up to 188 km/h, or throw in the towel. Or perhaps I'm missing something but I did RTA and nothing suggests they really set a new speedrecord, except their own propaganda.

Re:Landspeed record for disabled cars? ( (5, Informative)

Caustic Soda (1286402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963296)

When I read the (non-slashdot) article when it originally came out, they hold the record for the fastest speed in a vehicle entirely powered by solar panels. Most solar vehicles use the panels to charge batteries, and then run from the battery, whereas this vehicle used the power directly.

Re:Landspeed record for disabled cars? ( (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963548)

You are correct. There were a whole bunch of slashdotters who couldn't make the distinction in the article from a month ago as well.

Toaster? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963308)

"uses about the same power as a toaster" is a bit misleading. Try hooking up a generator and inverter to a bicycle frame, and powering that toaster. I'll watch.

Re:Toaster? (2)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963400)

Toaster powered car would be awesome. Besides the exhaust projectiles could solve global starvation, unlike rocket exhaust fumes, for example.

Re:Toaster? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963566)

Saw this in a science museum once. The setup you describe powering a CRT television. The TV needed 500 watts and I could just barely get it running. Electric bicycles in my state are limited to 200W by the way but they don't have to drag banks of photovoltaic cells around with them.

Re:Toaster? (2)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964428)

I don't see why 'same power as a toaster' is misleading - it's a comparison of power. What does your example prove?

Re:Toaster? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34990328)

The point I was trying to make is that a lot of people don't understand how much power a toaster needs to run. It's far from trivial.

Re:Toaster? (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964464)

Likewise, I would like to see you strap pedals to a drive train underneath that solar car, and powering it to 88 km/h for a kilometre; I'll watch.

In the Autumn of 1985, at the International Human Powered Speed Championships, a fully-faired Moulton ridden by Jim Glover broke the 200 metres flying start speed record, at 50.21mph (80.79kph). Then on August 29th 1986, at the same event, he broke his own record at a speed of 51.29mph (82.54kph) which still stands today for the conventional riding position. [1] [moultonbicycles.co.uk] .

It seems that if you design a bike completely around top speed, and if you are a professional-caliber cyclist in excellent competition health, you can beat 88 km/h for brief periods [2] [recumbents.com] . On the other hand, these are 200 m races lasting under 10 s, so they are a little more sprinty than the 1 km achieved by the car in question.

Aikon-

Re:Toaster? (1)

fizzup (788545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965194)

Very few humans are capable of generating a kilowatt, and none of the ones that can do it are capable of doing it for 40 seconds (1km / 88km/h). Typically, people consume about 100 watts [google.ca] in food power. Generating ten times that power (mechanically) using just your legs is hard and unsustainable.

So, you're saying that an engine incapable of generating 1kw can't push the test car as fast as an engine that is capable of generating 1kw at the drive axle (FTFA: 1050w * 0.98). Yes, you are correct.

Would not buy again (1, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963406)

uses about the same power as a toaster.

Let me get this straight: I put my bread in this thing, and then instead of giving me my toast, it brings it a kilometer away and now I have to go get it? Worst toaster ever.

Re:Would not buy again (3, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963466)

Better than getting nailed in the face by 88km/h toast ...

Re:Would not buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964084)

The toast is cold, too.

Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963480)

Does it run NetBSD?

Duplicate (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963508)

Com on guys can't you even to a simple search on past articles before posting a new one? This is the third time this week a duplicate article has been posted; two of them from this month.

This is a duplicate of http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/01/09/0418256/Aussie-Team-Smashes-Land-Speed-Record-For-Solar-Powered-Cars [slashdot.org] posted on January 9th.

Re:Duplicate (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963554)

You must be new here.

Re:Duplicate (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964096)

Off-the-wall theory: most dupes are on purpose. The second time around, people have had more time to think about (and maybe even read!) the article and initial responses, provoking more thoughtful replies. Probably not, though. :)

Re:Duplicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964208)

Better theory: Dups create more articles to up the page views.

Re:Duplicate (1)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964890)

Better theory: Dups create more articles to up the page views.

One of the great mysteries of the universe is how we manage to achieve the slashdot effect even though no one appears to read the original article so it is even more confusing how a duplicate submission can result in more page views.

Re:Duplicate (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34977306)

Having done no research, here's my thought: it's only the articles that receive fewer than "X" replies which are duped. (No idea what the value of "X" is.)

Re:Duplicate (2)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964442)

Com on guys can't you even to a simple search on past articles before posting a new one?

Can't you? Do you know how many people have already pointed out that this is a duplicate post?

Re:Duplicate (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966312)

When I posted I could see no replies so I added my entry.

Re:Duplicate (1)

flanders123 (871781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964854)

I, for one, welcome our dupe posting overlords...I missed the original.

After Dark (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963528)

88kph on as much power as a toaster? That's nothing. We've had flying toasters for years...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cm7tv5cM8g [youtube.com]

Bullshit claim. (0)

rew (6140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963720)

The Delft, the Neterlands "Nuna" solar car drives an average of around 100km/h over 3000km.

http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/home/history/results-to-date [worldsolarchallenge.org]

Ok. Due to an accident, they didn't win in 2009, and they didn't beat the Japanese (this time). But the Japanese verifiably averaged over 100km/h over that 3000 race, so I'm guessing they beat the 100km mark on some of those kilometers....

Re:Bullshit claim. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963808)

the australien speed record is for solar powered cars *without* batteries. nuna had a battery. in the australien car the cells drove the engine directly.

Re:Bullshit claim. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964282)

Again, learn to read TFA before calling bulls

Re:Bullshit claim. (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34968214)

what article?

Re:Bullshit claim. RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966674)

RTFA.... No battery, it was direct power from the solar cells. I managed a solar car team and you can do 120+km/h easy no problem with battery... Although no battery is misleading too, the minute the clouds come this thing is toast, at least put the battery in to get realistic weight in that vehicle

Lighter weight (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966032)

Call me when they achieve these speed records by increasing solar power yield and not by paring down the structure of the cars below the safety standards of soapbox derby racers.
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