A team of solar-car scientists from Japan's Tokai University turned the intense rays of central Australia into victory in the 2009 Global Green Challenge. The team covered nearly 1,860 miles over four days in their solar-powered Tokai Challenger to claim first place among the Challenge's solar-vehicle field.
The win shut down a four-win streak by Dutch utility Nuon, which as of this writing was still battling the University of Michigan for second place. The Tokai Challenger, which is equipped with six square meters of 1.8 kW compound solar cells developed by Sharp for outer-space applications, placed fourth in qualifying at an average speed of 50.87mph. During the race, the team reportedly took the lead on day one, and stayed there all the way to the finish line.
Thirty-two solar vehicles from 16 countries made the start of the 2009 Global Green Challenge last Sunday. The bi-annual Global Green Challenge has separate categories for hybrid, electric, and other forms of alternative energy vehicles. Tokai's victory is the first by a Japanese team since 1993 when the Honda Dream II took first.
It sure reminds me of a movie.
Wish we had some video on it, perhaps I'll check youtube. Only around 50mph though? Interesting race. Maybe when solar cells are extrenuously cheaper they'll be used as a common extra source of power on cars. By the by, I wonder whatever became of that plan to put solar cells in roads...
So, no word on Sharp's panel efficiencies, nor the cost if you or I wanted to build a car from Tokai Universities' specs. Or some other application, as would be my case.
Well just an off the cuff calculation, on average there is about 250 watts per square meter on the earth's surface. So 250 W/M^2 * 6M = 1500 W.
This would infer that the cells are better than 100% efficiency, but since thats impossible its better to assume that the insolation in Australia is a bit higher than average.
And taking a look at the highest insolation values for these months in Australia we get about 325 W/M^2. Plug that back in and I get 1950 W. so at 1.8KW/1.95KW its about 92% efficiency.
Still just off the cuff observation from the given info.
I heard that they cost 100 000 $ and that they have the best solar cells of the common market.
I like the concept and the marketing approach to increase awareness is fantastic. The publication generates, no pun intended, an increased interest from inventors and possibly improved options for sustained driving in the future.
As a critic, though, these events often promote the human weakness and desire for competition and for the aim of winning at the expense of the original intent. This indirectly promotes the enabler. Such as, in this instant is Tokyo University at the individual students. In my opinion the competition could be remodeled to encourage continued improvement to functionality, reduction in use of the planets resources and cost to produce and efficient mode of transport for mankind.
Aside from the nagging concerns for the origin of intent, the success of this event is largely due to the motivation and desire for enthusiastic the young and not so young inventors, to establish their signature within the environment of research and development.
Wow! I know the outback of Australia very well and this is no simple road trip. The roads and the environment are as tough as the Australian sun and these brilliant young people are to be congratulated, as without their enthusiasm and motivation we would be still in caves and believe the world is flat. This is a well know annual event and the competition is strong and capable.
its me iraq who is always at your service. i am just kidding
i wish i can participate with you guys now but i will keep it after i come back
talk to you later