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World Solar Challenge About To Start

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the watch-out-for-the-kangaroos dept.

Australia 34

SustainableJeroen writes "On Sunday morning at 08:30 local time — that's less than an hour away — the World Solar Challenge will start in Darwin, Australia. The first solar racing car and its support fleet will depart Darwin to traverse the 3000+ km to Adelaide through the Australian outback. It will be followed at two-minute intervals by 36 other racing teams, from twenty countries from all over the world. The qualification round, held on Saturday, saw Solar Team Twente secure the first starting position in the race, closely followed by Nuon Solar Team and Michigan University. The top ten times in the qualification round were within eleven seconds of each other, and while driving one lap around a race track is very different from driving 3000 km on a public motorway, it does show that the top cars are quite close in performance. With the top cars and teams being very, very close to each other, it's sure to be a very exciting race. The fastest teams are expected to reach the official finish line just outside Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday (local time), after which the teams will continue on for the traditional dive in the fountain at Victoria Square in Adelaide."

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It's "University of Michigan" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726438)

It's "University of Michigan" not "Michigan University."

Re:It's "University of Michigan" (1)

SustainableJeroen (2474816) | about 3 years ago | (#37726462)

I apologise for using the wrong name.

Re:It's "University of Michigan" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726558)

Don't worry about it. We know that English isn't your native language, and that the U.S. isn't your native country, so we won't hold it against you. You do have a far better grasp of the English language than most native-born, English-speaking Americans have. Thank you for your submission, as well. It is very enlightening.

Why 3000km? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726484)

Why not 1864.11358 miles, which is much easier?

Challege? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726508)

That sounds very 'Challegeing'.

U of M (2)

zigziggityzoo (915650) | about 3 years ago | (#37726572)

It's The University of Michigan. Go Blue!

Solar cars? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 3 years ago | (#37726624)

Most of these vehicles are amazing and at the same time kind of weird, outlandish and not very usefull. I have found only this entrant barely 'normal' looking car with two seats, showing some German engineering skills.

http://www.hochschule-bochum.de/en/solarcar.html [hochschule-bochum.de]

Re:Solar cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726730)

These cars are designed to win this race, so I guess only 1 of them is 100% useful.

Re:Solar cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726748)

Well yes, but that's not surprising considering these are race cars. Most race cars are not very useful (okay GT and rally cars might be exceptions).

Re:Solar cars? (1)

planimal (2454610) | about 3 years ago | (#37727382)

good luck driving around on public roads and traffic with a dog clutch gearbox

Re:Solar cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37734282)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XHHA2HqoHw
Look 3:50 min in for the extra fun negotiating common street features. Parking is even more fun.

Re:Solar cars? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37741930)

I am not much of a gear nut, so excuse me if I am utterly wrong, but:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual_transmission#Dog_clutch [wikipedia.org]

Reading that, aren't all modern manuals dog clutches? My understanding of my Camry's manual is that the gears are always meshed and the gear selector connects the gear to the axle to prevent wear on the gears, and this sounds much like the description from Wikipedia. What am I missing? Please enlighten me :)

Re:Solar cars? (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37727136)

It's a technology challenge, they aren't making practical things.

Re:Solar cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37727578)

I'd like to see them get rid of restrictive rules, like no more than X m^2 of solar. I always thought it would be cool to drag a solar trailer behind a solar EV. +10-20% weight but +100% power.

Of course those numbers are for a real car. I don't know how much lighter a trailer would be than a solar challenge car.

Re:Solar cars? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 years ago | (#37729508)

I'd like to see them get rid of restrictive rules, like no more than X m^2 of solar. I always thought it would be cool to drag a solar trailer behind a solar EV. +10-20% weight but +100% power.

Of course those numbers are for a real car. I don't know how much lighter a trailer would be than a solar challenge car.

I think that would be an incredibly BAD idea. This isn't just a race, The solar challenge is about efficient and effective design. The restrictive rules on solar panel size is one of the main drivers for them to innovate around effective energy management. Forcing them to think about ways to come up with more and more efficient designs rather than saying FUCK IT lets put a V8 equivalent in it and drag 200 m^2 of panels to drive it, removal of the restrictions would make this a pointless race and probably kill it completely.

Re:Solar cars? (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 years ago | (#37727850)

Most of these vehicles are amazing and at the same time kind of weird, outlandish and not very usefull.

Like this [yugocar.co.uk] ? And this [hotrod.com] ? And this [wordpress.com] ?

Let's face it, racing cars and practical cars are two different things.

Re:Solar cars? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 3 years ago | (#37729278)

I don't see many practical cars on a formula 1 track or a speedway track either. I guess all those cars and inovations from them are also not very useful?

These cars are the very definition of useful, they are specifically designed to meet a requirement, to prove their technology is the best by using it to win a 3000k race.

When I read this (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37726670)

World Solar Challenge About To Start

I thought great, even more flares...

Re:When I read this (1)

yerktoader (413167) | about 3 years ago | (#37726784)

I read "World Solar Change" and thought OMG2012IZCOMIN

underhighlighted underdog (2)

toQDuj (806112) | about 3 years ago | (#37726818)

I seem to remember that during the first challenge, much media attention was spent on a pitted "battle" between an australian (?) and an american team. Except that in the end, the Dutch team won by miles, which earned the Dutch team a side note. Talk about media focus getting it wrong ;).

Re:underhighlighted underdog (4, Informative)

fbartho (840012) | about 3 years ago | (#37728852)

You have your memories slightly jumbled. It was University of Michigan's UMSolar vs Nuon Solar Car Team and in the end a Japanese team (Tokai University) won by leagues. -- Team Tokai ran a great race, it was very impressive.

Re:underhighlighted underdog (1)

toQDuj (806112) | about 3 years ago | (#37728898)

Thanks for the refresher. :).

Re:underhighlighted underdog (1)

Guillaume le Btard (1773300) | about 3 years ago | (#37728970)

I have met the Nuon team last year, it is incredible to see how professional they set things up. I have also participated in the championship for solar powered boats, and when I compare our (Dutch) teams to foreign competitors I think we are miles ahead.

Important facts about the World Solar Challenge. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37726956)

It is fake, and gay.

Re:Important facts about the World Solar Challenge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37727140)

Much like you :)

NT is no fun any more.. (1)

quenda (644621) | about 3 years ago | (#37727318)

Why do they still bother racing in the Northern Territory?
It was one of the few places in the world without road speed limits until 2007. Now there is a 110km/hr limit.

Re:NT is no fun any more.. (2)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 3 years ago | (#37727736)

Most of the Stuart highway in the NT has a 130 km/hr (~81 mph for those so inclined) limit and 110 km/hr in SA. The average speed for last year's winner was approx 100 km/h, so they must be touching these limits at times. At the moment it also has a day time temperatures in the 30-40 degrees Celsius range (~86-104 deg. Fahrenheit). Bags not being in a cramped, non-airconditioned, low slung vehicle on top of the tarmac.

First? Not hardly (1)

CerealSam (642129) | about 3 years ago | (#37727940)

Solar races were going on in Australia back in the late 80s, back when I was still in engineering school. There was a PBS documentary on it (Nova?). There was some fuss because one of the cars used some kooky circular air sail as the prime mover, rather than solar generated electricity.

Weather (1)

AfroTrance (984230) | about 3 years ago | (#37728220)

There's a bit of rain and storms in northern Australia currently. They might be off to a slow start...

Aussie ISP Internode is a sponsor (1)

cfryback (870729) | about 3 years ago | (#37728814)

http://www.internode.on.net/news/2011/09/247.php [on.net]

Makes the 1% of me feel better that when I am surfing I'm green about it...

Re:Aussie ISP Internode is a sponsor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37729262)

makes me pissed that they are screwing us over with hiking prices because they were supposedly losing money, yet they can still afford to sponser stuff like this. Yes it is worthwhile cause, but I would rather the money in my pocket for me to pick who to give it to.

Re:Aussie ISP Internode is a sponsor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37729322)

+1 to Internode,WIN

El Reg's coverage of the race (2)

alanw (1822) | about 3 years ago | (#37729192)

The Register's [theregister.co.uk] Lester Haynes of its Special Projects Bureau [theregister.co.uk] is following the race (in an air conditioned 4x4: temperatures in the cabins of the cars can reach 50C)

They also have a twitter feed [twitter.com]

News so far:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/12/world_solar_challenge_2011_race_rules/ [theregister.co.uk]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/13/solar_update/ [theregister.co.uk]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/14/wsc_update/ [theregister.co.uk]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/15/wsc_update/ [theregister.co.uk]

Solar were criminal for not using it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37738118)

In Arizona not having a law that solar hot water is a must should be a crime against humanity.
Every fucking new build and any permit what so ever.

And a 50 buck a year stupid tax on every home owner without it.

Please put the electric and gas hot water heater in the antique pile.
Past time if it were your computer you would demand the new energy saving model.

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