This post may had been prepared/written earlier than the day it appears, but right after the finish of the Veolia World Solar Challenge (world solar car race of twenty countries, 3021 km (1877 mi) between Darwin, Australia, to Angle Vale (official finish line) and Adelaide (ceremonial finish line), Australia, and thirty-seven solar cars) I had to fly to a location/ country where my internet access was not very convenient (it kept on being disconnected whenever I tried to write). However, I was able to load up various video clips onto youtube and I hope many of you have been enjoying these videos about the Veolia World Solar Challenge of 2011. I understand one of you from Netherland is trying to gather as much information about the race as possible. Since this is my first time covering Veolia World Solar Challenge, or WSC (and only had time and budget for the start and end of the race), I hope these photos I took and video clips I uploaded (and filmed by Mike) to youtube will help to meet part of your need. I promise you in two years (next Veolia World Solar Challenge) more detailed coverage about the scrutineering process (before the race) and events along the race will be included. Please keep in mind that the goal and focus of this World Solar Challenge is to increase greater awareness and education for our future generations in application of solar energy in cars and to stimulate greater interest in math, science, and engineering. The emphasis is both in how far and how fast (rather than just how fast) these solar cars can go using energy from the sun. As a matter of fact, part of the rule this year had actually restricted total surface area of the solar cells to 6 sq m and of which only 3 sq m can be of GaAs (gallium arsenide) so to even the playing field. Facility is available if a solar car needs to be “trailered” when insufficient sunshine is available for the duration of the race. This year, due to the extra challenges of cloudiness, rain, and bush fire, only about 7 out of 37 solar cars were able to finish the course completely using solar energy. The atmosphere at WSC is friendly and encouraging rather than fiercely competitive. One finds this to be true either in the scrutineering process (insuring safety of drivers/pilots and those around), tracking of the timing (please refer to: http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/files/318_2011_veolia_world_solar_challenge_provisional_results_pending_protests.pdf), or in the finish presentation (ritual dip in the Victoria Fountain by all teams (those that were not too shy or too cold) at the end of the race or not so ritual “burning rubber” of the German team). Finally, I’d like to take my hat off to Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 team for being able to pull off a race of this magnitude (involving solar cars from twenty countries) with mostly volunteers working together to make this race work. Running an organization composed of mostly volunteers is not the same as running a normal company (I’ve had experience in both and believe me, running an organization composed mostly of volunteers is not easy!). So, if any of you out there with good ideas (to help improve the solar car race), funding, or time to volunteer, perhaps you’d like to contact Mr. Chris Selwood (leader and rightful owner of Veolia World Solar Challenge) and/or the organization at http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/contact_us For the ease and convenience of our readers’ pleasures, there are written descriptions for these solar cars with each of the youtube video clip of the interviews for its team members. So please be sure to read (click on “Show more” at each youtube clip) about the descriptions for these solar cars. I tried to take photograph and to interview as many of the participating solar cars of Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 as possible, but due to time constraint, please forgive me if I missed any one. With regard to all the video interviews at youtube, if any of the interviewees’ names is either misspelled or not mentioned, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can make the necessary modification. Below, you will find links to our youtube clips/interviews with various teams and photographs of these solar cars. Keep in mind that these videos and photos pertaining to Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 are under Creative Commons as long as you would attribute it/them to Sun Is The Future at http://sunisthefuture.net There will be more posts on human interest stories and lessons learned regarding Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 later.
Despite his busy schedule during the Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011, Mr. Chris Selwood managed to squeeze in a terrific interview with Sun Is The Future, so to enable our readers to have a better understanding of the history and purpose behind Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011. Mr. Selwood is a man of positive energy, enthusiasm, and vision. He was previously seen in our footage as the Master of Ceremony on Oct. 16, 2011, at the Open Ceremony of Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 in Darwin, Australia (in front of the Parliament House), and the voice behind the announcement as each and every one of the solar cars pulled in to the Victoria Square (the ceremonial finish line) of Adelaide, Australia. He deserves a great round of applause from all of us who have participated/viewed/reported in/on Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 for he had brought energy and vision to all of our hopes in the future for solar energy. Without further ado, here we have Mr. Chris Selwood:
written, interviewed, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, email@example.com, filmed by Michael Nunamaker
Continuing on with our top three winning teams arriving at Victoria Square in Adelaide, Australia, Quantum team members of University of Michigan of USA presented us with Michigan’s eleventh generation car by completely revamping its design strategy. The team was able to take off 200 lbs from the previous vehicle weight and reduced the aerodynamic drag significantly. Combining the engineering improvements and smart driving strategy, with a strong family members’ support, it is no wonder that this team is widely recognized as the best team in North America and being able to come in as one of the top three winning teams in the Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E6yO30-5Q8 The positive energy of these three top teams’ members is palpable as they all hopped into the Victoria Fountain, in full exuberance. I even caught one of the University of Michigan team members’ successful attempt at reaching the top of the fountain on film, seen in one of the photos below, along with an interview with one of the female members and driver of the team, Rachel Kramer (yes, there are female drivers/pilots in Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 !):
written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Friday of Oct. 21, 2011, around 10:15 A.M., the enthusiastic crowd waited for arrival of Nuna 6 of Nuon Solar Team (Netherland) and Quantum of University of Michigan (USA), at the Victoria Square of Adelaide, Australia. As Nuna 6 was seen coming down King William St., gradually approaching Victoria Square, the crowd no longer contains themselves and started banging on the plastic advertising bulletins…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdNZei5kJmwfor they knew that Nuna 6 and Quantum had already arrived at the official finish line, Angle Vale, the day before at 2:12 P.M. and 3:55 P.M., respectively, but decided to reach for the ceremonial finish line, Victoria Square, today (Oct. 21, 2011).
As Nuna 6 lands on the equivalent of its red carpet, but dark grey in this case, reporting crews and the crowd swarms toward this marvelous solar vehicle of reliability and efficiency. Every step of its progression reflects its vision of teamwork, from its supporting members carrying and laying down the flag of Netherland on the hood of this winning car, to the hugs and handshakes fellow team members giving to one another. Then came the Champaign and Ritual Dip in the Victoria Fountain. One gesture was out of the ordinary: that the Nuna 6 and Tokai Challenger 2 members started to exchange their shirts in the Victoria Fountain, symbolizing either that “we’re in this together” or “we’re all winners”. So in some of the video and photos one would find Nuon Solar Team members wearing Tokai’s blue and Tokai Challenger 2 Team members wearing Nuna’s orange.
Resistance is Futile...might as well have fun....
One of Nuon Team members may have resisted
Nuon & Tokai members in the Victoria Fountain, Adelaide, Australia
Nuon & Tokai members in each others' shirts in Victoria Fountain, Adelaide, Australia
Nuna 6 of Nuon Solar Team of World Solar Challenge 2011
Nuon (2nd Winning team of WSC 2011) arriving at Victoria Square of Adelaide, Australia
One thing to be certain, they were all having a great deal of fun, as evidenced in these photos. I also have uploaded an interview with one of the Nuna 6 team members/drivers above.
For a better understanding of the landscape of this beautiful country, Australia, we’re visiting, some help is obtained from Wikipedia, below:
King William Street passes through the square making a diamond shape with the southbound carriageway passing through the east side, and the northbound carriageway passing through the west side of the square. The square is bisected by a piece of road (technically part of the square) that connects Wakefield Street(entering from the east) with Grote Street (to the west). A tram stop (formerly the terminus) for the Glenelg Tram is in the southern part of the square; it was shifted from the center to the western edge of the square on 6 August 2007, as part of the extension that was made to the tram line around that time.
written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, email@example.com
I am interrupting (will post Day 3 & Day 4 later) to report about the winning team, Tokai Challenger 2 of Tokai University of Japan, which had just arrived at Victoria Square of Adelaide, Australia, within the last hour. The official finish line is located at Angle Vale, Australia, approximately 40 km outside of Adelaide (to avoid too much traffic lights), another brilliant decision on the part of the organizing team of Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011. So, as we waited at the Victoria Square, the ceremonial finish line, we chatted with and shared our excitement with some of the participants who have been loyal supporters of this solar car race for more than eighteen years. Despite the cloudy day with drizzle, our enthusiasm was not wavered the least bit. This is the special part of being solar participants, we/they are all full of extra dash of magical energy…perhaps a gift from the Sun…chuckle….
Here, we have a five-minute clip of interview with one of the winning drivers of Tokai Challenger 2 of Tokai University of Japan.
Even with the bush fire that they had to deal with, these winning drivers ended up averaging more than 91km/hr. They are so full of adrenaline that by the time they arrived at the Victoria Square, they did not hesitate to hop and hop
Winning Team, Tokai Challenger 2, of Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011 are so full of adrenaline that they are ready to hop
Driver/Pilot of the Winning Tokai Challenger 2
a closer look at the winning Tokai Challenger 2
Winning Driver/pilot is popping out as the crowd cheered
Upon arrival at Victoria Square, before the winning driver/pilot of Tokai Challenger 2 popped out
at the request of various reporters and of course the finale of hopping into the Victoria Fountain at Victoria Square. At the end of such a long journey through the desert of the Outback, one can fully appreciate/understand how this “Ritual Dip” got started. But on a cloudy day with a touch of drizzle such as today, we thank our winning team in continuing this tradition in showing their exhilaration, undeterred by the rain.
Tokai Challenger 2 Team Members Carried the "Ritual Dip" Further in Victoria Fountain
The Historical "Ritual Dip" into the Victoria Fountain at the End of each team's journey
We are very pleased that Tokai Challenger 2 of Tokai University (from Japan) is the winning team and are not too surprised by the outcome, for they have replaced the unique single-crystalline silicon solar cells with space grade solar cells. They have kept their winning design concept from 2009 but improved the efficiency. I read that the Tokai Challenger had a drag coefficient of 0.11 whereas University of Michigan had a drag coefficient of 0.10 Keep in mind that drag coefficient is a dimensionless quantity used to quantify drag or resistance of an object in a fluid environment (be it air or water), so a lower drag coefficient indicates the object will have less aerodynamic or hydrodynamic drag/resistance, which would be better for a car in a car race ( or anything that moves). With a 10% difference in drag coefficient, University of Michigan should be in a more advantageous position, if solely based on drag coefficient (lower drag coefficient value). So my question here is: does Tokai Challenger 2 now has a different drag coefficient from 0.11 or are there other factors that had been more important than the 10% difference in the drag coefficient? If any of you out there who knows more about solar car race, please let me know.
written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org, filmed by Michael Nunamaker
This seems to be a good time to share some fundamentals of “How Does a Solar Car Work?”, for those of you who may be interested. So, please allow me to use one of RiAus’ (riaus.org.au , RiAus stands for Royal Institute of Australia, with a focus on “Bring Science To People and People To Science”) pamphlets for demonstration purpose. Please refer to the image “How Does A Solar Car Work?” For clarification, the solar car design usually emphasizes the aerodynamics and lightness of weight, while maintaining a large surface area to allow the optimum number of solar cells (sometimes solar panels), with low friction tires and minimum wind resistance. If you’d follow (1) through (5) in the graphics, they are:
(1). It starts with the sun: Solar energy, in the form of photons, radiates from the sun 150 million km from earth
(2). Solar energy becomes electricity: The photons hit solar panels/solar cells mounted on the car. This energises the electrons in the panels/cells causing them to move. This movement generates an electric current.
(3). Power storage: Batteries can store extra solar power in the form of chemical energy, which can then be fed to the motor when there is insufficient sunlight.
(Solar car panels/cells have a textured surface to maximize surface area. This increases the amount of light energy can be harnessed.)
(4). Motor controller: the motor controller regulates how much power is fed to the motor. When the accelerator is pressed, the motor controller changes the frequency of the electricity output. When the car is moving, electricity can be fed directly from the solar panels to the motor controller.
Fact: the motors unique hub design results in 98% efficiency. At 100km/hr the cars use the same energy as a toaster!
(5). The motor: power reaches the motor, which is contained within the wheel. A typical motor includes strong magnets and a wire coil to carry the current. The interaction between the magnetic force and electric current generates motion.
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at email@example.com
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:
In the early afternoon unofficial event leader in the Veolia World Solar Challenge: Team Tokai from Japan was just kilometres ahead of Nuon Solar of the Netherlands who were just minutes in front of team Michigan – with the order changing between these three throughout the day. The three leaders are in Wauchope, 116 kilometres south of Tennant Creek, a temporary control stop which has been established due to closure of Barrow Creek ( closed early afternoon due to bushfires).
Northern Territory Police have advised the Stuart Highway to be closed to traffic both ways between Ti Tree and Wauchope. Event officials are monitoring the situation and keeping in close contact with participants. All timing and positions of solar vehicles are being recorded.
Oct. 17, Day 2,
of the Veolia World Challenge concluded with the top three teams camped together at a police roadblock near the Devils Marbles in Outback NT (Northern Territory). Wauchope roadhouse played host to Tokai, Nuna and Michigan as bushfire, raged across the Stuart Highway near Barrow Creek. Although some teams were held at Tennant Creek a little over 100 Km behind the leaders, the majority of participants are travelling towards Tennant Creek without disruption.
Location Time Date Open Date Closed_________
Katherine From 11am Sunday 16th Sunday 16th
Dunmarra From 2pm Sunday 16th Monday 17th at 3pm
Tennant Creek From 8:30am Monday 17th Tuesday 18th at 2pm
Barrow Creek From 11:30am Monday 17th Wednesday 19th at 10am
Alice Springs From 2:30pm Monday 17th Wednesday 19th at 3pm
Kulgera From 8:30am Tuesday 18th Thursday 20th at 9:30am
Coober Pedy From 1pm Tuesday 18th Thursday 20th at 3pm
Glendambo From 4pm Tuesday 18th Friday 21st at 2pm
Port Augusta From 10am Wednesday 19th Saturday 22 at 12 noon____
writtten and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, here is the report you’ve been waiting for, the first day of the Veolia World Solar Challenge of 2011, Sunday, October 16, 2011. Some of the thirty-seven teams started to arrive in front of the Parliament House in Darwin, Australia, as early as 5:30 A.M. Even though official post indicated that the race is expected to begin at 10:00 A.M., I found out from the WSC (World Solar Challenge) few days ahead that individual solar cars would most likely be taking off around 8:30 A.M. So hubby Mike and I got up around 6:00 A.M. and dragged our camera and tripod in front of the Parliament House by 7:00 A.M. The following footage I uploaded to youtube actually started around 8:30 A.M. as Mr. Chris Selwood (speaker in the footage who is also the leader and rightful owner to this event) did a wonderful job introducing each and every one of these scifi-ish entry as they glided by him on the way to the starting point.
In this open ceremony footage, the person waiving the flag near the starting point is Minster Gerry McCarthy (Minister of Transport of Northern Territory of Australia). This is such a friendly competition that one can sense that the crowd is rooting for each and every one of the entrants to be able to complete their journey of passing through a variety of different ecosystems (from deserts to temperate forests and tropical climates) while reaching for the sun’s energy. As we’ve discovered the day before during another interview with the Singapore’s Nanyang Technologcial University,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orKZfIGojiA, the whole process of scrutineering mainly focused on the safety of all involved and the judges tried their best to help all entries to meet the standard.
These thirty-seven teams of solar cars have come from twenty countries. To see a few of them below:
Socrat Istanbul University's Astay (Turkey)
Tokai University's Tokai Challenger, under cover (Japan), a strong contender
University of Waterloo's Midnight Sun X (Canada)
University of Tehran's Persian Gazelle II (Iran)
University of Chile's Eolian 2 (Chile)
Umicore's Umivore (Belgium), with concentrated solar cells
Onda Solare's Emilia 2 (Italy)
Eclipse Solar Car Team's Eclipse 7 (Canada)
Nanyang University's Nanyang Venture V (Singapore)
Seraaj Solar Car Team's Wahj (meaning glow) (Saudi Arabia)
Science plays an important part of the WSC. A team’s success depends on the engineering of the car and the efficiency of its solar cells. Each team has a large support crew and up to four drivers. Each driver can spend between four and six hours at a time behind the wheel and driver changes are strategically planned at control stops (extra stops may cost time and are discouraged). The fact that WSC teams are only suppose to compete between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00P.M. and then set up camp wherever they might be makes WSC more of an adventurous race rather than a competitive race, providing unique opportunity for participants to experience the outback Australia.
Some unique features of WSC are: The driver may experience cockpit temperatures up to 50 degrees C, which requires a slow and steady intake of cold water to prevent dehydration and regulate body temperature;they may also have to regularly counter-steer against strong side winds, especially in South Australia; WSC participants are only allowed to store a very small amount of energy in batteries, meaning that they are heavily reliant on the sun and that the aerodynamics of the car is more important than battery size.
All solar cars are monitored by GPS (global positioning system) during the WSC so their progress can be tracked and officials can ensure that no rule is broken. GPS uses satellites to provide location information by sending frequent messages to these satellites. So organizers can estimate their average speed and make sure it was below the limit (these solar cars need to abide by the speed limit of the road). To overcome the obstacle of the fact that many parts of the journey are without mobile phone reception, the GPS relies on marine communication satellites over the ocean, which can pick up the signal of the cars throughout the entire challenge of WSC.
More photos and videos are coming….
written & posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, email@example.com
This year the Veolia World Solar Challenge will begin on October 16, 2011, from the city of Darwin , Australia, traversing the 3021 km (1,877 mi) to Adelaide through the Australian outback.
World Solar Challenge 2011 route map
This solar-powered car race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools. The race has a 20-year history,
Tokai Challenger of Japan's Tokai University, winner of 2009 Global Green Challenge
Nuna 3 of 4-times victors Dutch Nuna Team
spanning nine races, starting the first race in 1987. This year, the first solar racing car that departs and its support fleet will be followed at two-minute intervals by 36 other racing teams from twenty countries.
Before these solar cars are able to participate in the race, each and every one of them has to pass the qualification round of scrutineering process. The static scrutineering process (which took place between Oct. 12, Wed.-Oct. 14, Fri) took place at Foskey Pavilion in Darwin Showgrounds, involves tests for batteries, solar cells, mechanical and electrical components, measurements and overall safety based on the rules and regulations set by the WSC (World Solar Challenge) committee. This is a very friendly competition, encouraging others attempting the same goal (utilizing the sun’s energy to power the vehicle);therefore, the scrutineering process is mainly focused on safety and protection for all involved in the process (drivers/pilots of the solar cars and people around the vehicle).The dynamic scrutineering took place on Oct. 15, Sat., at the Hidden Valley Racetrack in Darwin.
Hidden Valley Motorsports Complex, where dynamic scrutineering or qualification round took place
to determine the order of the cars during the actual race starting on Sunday at Darwin State Square (in front of the Parliament House). The qualification round saw Solar Team Twente (Twente) securing the first starting position in the race, followed by Nuon Solar Team (Nuna 6) and University of Michigan (Quantum). Complete list of 37 qualified solar cars and their respective times (during the qualifying round) can be found in http://www.solarwebsite.nl/en/2011/10/official-qualification-results/ As you can see, the top 10 times are within 11 seconds of one another, indicating that these cars are very close in performance. Historically, reliability is a main concern; therefore, “perhaps only 30% of these cars will be able to complete the whole course.” commented Coordinator Luke Wyman of Veolia WSC,
and more on World Solar Challenge 2011 in the clip below:
The idea for the competition originates from Danish-born adventurer Hans Tholstrup. He was the first to circumnavigate the Australian continent in a 16-foot (4.9m) open boat. At a later stage in his life he became involved in various competitions with fuel saving cars and trucks. Already in the 1980s, he became aware of the necessity to explore sustainable energy as a replacement for the limited available fossil fuel. Sponsored by BP, he designed the world’s first solar car, called The Quiet Achiever, and traversed the 4,052 km (2,518mi) between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. That was the precursor of the World Solar Challenge. After the 4th race, he sold the rights to the state of South Australia and leadership of the race was assumed by Chris Selwood. The race was held every three years until 1999 when it was switched to every two years. (World Solar Challenge, Wikipedia)
More will unfold as we continue our reporting on Veolia World Solar Challenge in the coming days….
On this day, exactly one year after his passing, I would like to share with you all the memory and work of the man, Hermann Scheer, most instrumental in bringing about the impact of effective Feed-In-Tariff policy in Germany (May 8, 2011 post of http://sunisthefuture.net) and subsequent impact on renewable energy for rest of the world. In addition to paragraphs taken from Wikipedia ( in bold print) below, I would also like to share with you all, his words of passion and urging/warning those of us who love our system of democracy, the need and hope for the change toward renewable energy…. eight months before his passing :
Dr. Hermann Scheer passed away a year ago, on Oct. 14, 2010.
Hermann Scheer (April 29, 1944 – October 14, 2010) was a Social Democrat member of the German Bundestag (Parliament), President of Eurosolar (The European Association for Renewable Energy) and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. In 1999, Scheer was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for his “indefatigable work for the promotion of solar energy worldwide“.
Scheer believed that the continuation of current patterns of energy supply and use will be environmentally damaging, with renewable energy being the only realistic alternative. Scheer had concluded that it is technically and environmentally feasible to harness enough solar radiation to achieve a total replacement of the foclear (fossil/nuclear) energy system by a global renewable energy economy. The main obstacle to such a change is seen to be political, not technical or economic. In 1999 he was one of the initiators of the German feed-in tariffs that were the major source of the rise of renewable energies in Germany during the following years.
Life Scheer was born in Wehrheim, and became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1965. As a student, while majoring in economics and law, he was active in student politics at the University of Heidelberg, and participated in the German student movement of the 1960s. In 1979, he graduated from the Free University of Berlin as a doctor of political science.
He became a member of the Bundestag in 1980, representing Baden-Württemberg; in 1993, he also became a member of the federal steering committee (Bundesvorstand) of the Social Democratic Party. Scheer had a solid track record as an anti-establishment figure within his own party.
He called the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia a war crime.
In his election districts, he always had to rely on a suitable placement on the party list to receive his mandates. He never had an executive post in government. In the preelection shadow cabinet of Andrea Ypsilanti, candidate for prime minister of Hesse in 2008, Scheer was pegged unsuccessfully as minister for development, environment and economics. The final list long after the election mentioned him as secretary of a downsized ministry of economics Scheer announced ambitious energy policy plans. The announcement of Scheer boosted the Ypsilanti campaign in the beginning but enhanced innerparty doubts about a non realistic approach in Hesses political and economic surroundings which made him fail finally. Scheer assumed Ypsilantis policies would result in a big big triumph of his party at the federal elections 2009.
His book Energy Autonomy was instrumental in the making of the film Die 4. Revolution – Energy Autonomy in which he stresses the revolution in capitalist ownership of our energy supply.
Death Fourteen days before his death he was seen live on German television making a statement in the Bundestag about a highly explosive (“hochbrisant”) 60 billion euro breach of contract (“Vertragsbruch”) by Germany’s privately owned nuclear power corporations. He suddenly died in a hospital in Berlin from heart failure after an unspecified short and severe illness.
The Solar Economy, Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future , 2004, Earthscan, ISBN 1844070751
To understand more about this most effective incentive program, Feed-In-Tariff, that would help to generate local jobs, local economic prosperity, and help to transform the economic balance of power in favor of people and nature, please refer to my posts between May 8-July 31 of 2011 and Nov. 8, 2011 at Sun Is The Future at http://sunisthefuture.net
written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org