Aug 30, 2013
Wits students to enter brand-new vehicle in 2014 solar raceBack
Renewable Energy|Japan|South Africa|Japan-based Tokai University|Energy|Renewable Energy|Solar Car|Transport|Bradley Rautenbach|Formula 1
© Reuse this
Built largely by the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering, the new, modern vehicle will replace the solar car which clinched the fourth place for the Wits team, as a first-time entrant, in the 2012 event.
Every two years, teams of students from tertiary institutions in South Africa and abroad design and build solar-powered vehicles to compete in the 5 400 km Sasol Solar Challenge.
The race is the longest of its kind anywhere in the world.
The 2012 event was won by Japan-based Tokai University, recording a cumulative time of 71 hours and 13 minutes.
The name ‘Parhelion’ is inspired by a phenomenon of the sun, which results in the formation of a halo, or circular rainbow around the sun. The common term for this phenomenon is ‘sun dog’.
The Parhelion is designed to optimise energy from sunlight using a lightweight, semimonocoque carbon fibre chassis, along with latest-generation lithium-ion batteries.
According to team leader Bradley Rautenbach, the Wits team wants to “push the boundaries of technology and showcase the feasibility of renewable energy in the transport and energy sectors”.
The Parhelion should, ultimately, be able to travel at 100 km/h using the same amount of electricity as an average hairdryer. It will be able to reach speeds of around 120 km/h.
The batteries used in Parhelion are the same as those used in a cellphone – just significantly more.
The entire car will weigh around 170 kg. Materials used in construction include carbon fibre composites, similar to those used by cars in Formula 1 racing.
The solar car will be 2 m wide and 4.5 m long.
The fourth Sasol Solar Challenge will take place in September next year.
According to the new rules proposed by the organisers, all cars have to compete in a track event three months before the main event, which leaves the Wits team with a tight timeframe in which to complete their new vehicle.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Automotive News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...