Ten solar powered cars have crossed the finish line at the end of the gruelling Sasol Solar Challenge. The event saw teams making their way from Pretoria to Cape Town in eight days, powered only by the sun.
Having dominated the challenge from the start, Delft University’s Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands, clinched the title as the winners of the competition. The team clocked an impressive total distance of 4 227.8km, nearly 1 500km more than their closest competitor. The team also broke the record for the furthest distance covered in a single day with a daily distance of 601 km completed on day two of the event.
Coming in second, the Anadolu Solar Team from Turkey clocked a total distance of 2 733.1 km. The closely contended third position was secured by Team UKZN with a distance of 2 418.3km covered. The team also broke the record for the furthest distance travelled and the furthest distance covered in a single day by a South African team. Following closely in fourth position was North West University with a total distance of 2360.6 km travelled.
“This exciting challenge brought the world’s leading minds in the field of solar technology together, the final results truly showcase the strides that have been made in the development of innovative technology,” said Winstone Jordaan, Sasol Solar Challenge Director.
Maragon Private School held their own against participating university teams. Breaking the record for the furthest distance travelled by a high school, the team came in sixth place with a total distance of 1 268.5 km – three times higher than the previous Sasol Solar Challenge high school team record.
A special mention was also given to the University of Johannesburg team, who came in fifth place and received the technology and innovation award. “This team took brave steps to rather build a smaller car with more technologically advanced solar panels. While they had their share of challenges, we applaud the bravery and initiative taken to put this technology to the test,” noted Jordaan.
The Sasol Solar Challenge also incorporated an education programme involving nearly 200 schools on the route. Learners received an education kit which explained how solar powered vehicles work and materials that enabled them to build their own model solar car. Activations at towns along the route were used as a platform for primary school learners to experience the fun side of solar energy, seeing its application in the real world.
“We believe it is important for South Africa to be part of developing future technologies to benefit the world over. While the purpose of the event is to promote research into sustainable transport and showcase technologies - our underlying goal is to use the event to spark the interest of young people and particularly school learners in key educational subjects,” said Wrenelle Stander, Sasol Senior Vice President: Public and Regulatory Affairs.
“By showing learners how the application of mathematics and science can be fun and involving, we aim to dispel the notion that these subjects are difficult and boring but that they in fact open endless exciting possibilities for their future,” she continued.
Commenting on the race, Jordaan explained that the aim of the Sasol Solar Challenge is for teams to not only develop new technologies but to collaborate and teach each other. “Teams are getting better and better each time. With more exposure to such events, we believe that South African teams will continue to push boundaries by developing solar cars that can compete on an international level.”
For more information visit www.solarchallenge.org.za, join the conversation by following @Solar_Challenge on Twitter, @sasolarchallenge on Instagram and like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SASolarChallenge
Alex Anderson, Head | Group Media Relations
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