Prelude to Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011


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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 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….

~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


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