This October, for the first time since 2009, the World Solar Challenge will be held to see what the best and the brightest from universities and companies around the world can bring together for a race spanning Australia from North to South. With the race months away, information about some of the potential candidates has been popping up on and off recently showing off the usual diversity in designs that range from completely original solar power race cars to modified version of previously existing automobiles.
One such design that is currently being built in anticipation of participating in the 2011 World Solar Challenge is a modified Audi TT Coupe. The project is currently being handled by a group of students from Georgia Tech that call themselves the Solar Jackets. According to the group, the Audi TT that they are designing will be a solar assisted electric vehicle that will utilize a blend of plug-in electric systems and solar power in order to become a truly electric vehicle. The solar portion of the vehicle, which is made obvious by the lines of solar panels that begin on the hood and continue to the back of the car, will be used primarily to power systems such as the power steering, power brakes, and power windows.
While the Solar Jackets are hard at work on converting their Audi TT SA-EV, as they have designated the project, they also have their own all original solar racer design that is also meant to compete in the World Solar Challenge this fall. Designed to seat a single driver, the vehicle is powered entirely by “high-efficiency solar cell technology” and is designed to be as quick, power efficient, and light as possible.
When the race comes around this October, the Solar Jackets will be among those contestants that will race the 1,877 miles across Australia to claim the prize. Will they be victorious? Only time will tell.
Article by Richard Cooke, appearing courtesy Justmeans.