A race in the sun! Solar cars compete in Australia’s outback

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In October, 38 teams from 22 countries met in Australia to be part of the outback’s annual solar car race. Beginning in Darwin, the teams set out to travel 3000kms to reach Adelaide, racing North to South. View the highlights of this epic event in the video!

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During the 5-6 day challenge, teams make the most of the sun and the cars’ kinetic energy to travel, with a compulsory stop to camp overnight, beginning at 5pm. There are different divisions with strict rules around when to recharge the cars from the grid.

The Netherlands dominated this year by coming first and second in the Schneider Electric Challenger event which is determined by speed. The Netherlands also won the Cruiser Class category for the second time in a row. This category is more complex as the cars are judged on distance achieved, energy efficiency, speed and the practicality of their design. This includes cabin space and comfort, features, ease of operation, desirability and innovation. It is believed that solar cars for everyday use will emerge from the designs found in this category. Australia’s own TAFE SA team won a third event, the Adventure Challenge, with the impressive distance of 1292km covered through solar power alone.

Visit the official site to view photos of the solar car designs.

http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/

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Inquiry – Digging Deeper

 

PROJECT D.I.Y. SOLAR CAR – Build your own ride!

 

There is a range of solar kits available to buy, providing you with the equipment you need to experiment with solar energy. You can find examples here:

http://madaboutscience.com.au/store/solar-toys-c-21.html

If you are up for even more of a challenge, try making your own solar car from scratch. You can find all the instructions you need in this D.I.Y Solar Car article.

If you create a Solar vehicle, we would love to see pictures of video, so contact us at juniorinventors@skoolbo.com