Sep 14, 2012
Varsity teams up with auto group for big solar raceBack
Africa|PROJECT|Shell|Solar|Technology|Testing|Volkswagen Group South Africa|Africa|Japan|Netherlands|South Africa|Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University|Composites Technology|Energy|Solar Car|Vehicle Manufacturer|Arne Kloeblen|Clive Hands|Power|South Africa|Composites Technology
© Reuse this
The NMMU team received financial and technical support on this project from vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). Volkswagen has also provided the team with three vehicles – a Crafter, a T5 Kombi and a Caddy – to be used as support vehicles during the two-week race.
The VWSA-NMMU solar car, which has been named Photon, will compete against a number of international teams from countries such as Japan and the Netherlands.
“Our team consists of both local and international students from multiple faculties at NMMU,” says VWSA-NMMU Solar Challenge team project leader Clive Hands. “They have all voluntarily participated in this exciting project since its inception in May last year.”
Hands adds that the Photon has been designed to be light, using composites technology in the monocoque and body shell to minimise rolling resistance. Drag has also been reduced to a minimum.
“All subsystems have been designed and manufactured to reduce energy con- sumption as much as possible,” explains Hands.
“The car will travel the width and breadth of South Africa, with its 6 m2 solar deck producing power not more than it takes to run a hairdryer.”
International exchange student, Arne Kloeblen, who heads the electrical side of the team, notes that the panels used for powering the car are monocrystalline silicon, similar to those used for regular photovoltaic installations.
“They cover most of the top of the car and have been custom-built to fit onto the car. A battery pack of lithium-ion cells, normally used for laptops or power tools, has been integrated to supply enough power in case the heat from the sun does not provide sufficient energy to maintain the desired travel speed,” notes Kloeblen.
“The drive is a highly efficient brushless direct current motor that is able to use the supplied power to the max.”
The VWSA-NMMU team is currently working on final testing, tweaking and preparation to ensure the Photon crosses the finish line without any problems.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other Automotive News
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...