The Panasonic World Solar Challenge will start October 21, 2007 in Darwin Australia.
The Australian Panasonic World Solar Challenge is a bi-annual 3,000 km solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia. Teams of university and college students compete to design and construct the fastest vehicles propelled on solar energy alone that can endure the hefty distance. The 2007 challenge counts 45 entries from 21 countries. The first challenge took place in 1987, making this year's event its 20th anniversary.
Recently Nuna4 has been unveiled. It will compete under extreme weather conditions, will have to navigate between traffic on the road â€“ with the notorious and dangerous Australian road trains - as well as avoiding kangaroos and other obstacles.
The competition will be fierce this year. The USA University of Michigan team even managed to secure an extra high budget for the construction of its solar car with the specific aim of dethroning the Dutch team of students from the Delft University of Technology, who won 3 prior editions of this race in a row:
in 2001 as Team Alpha Centauri with an average speed of 91,8 km/h,
in 2003 as Nuon Solar Team with Nuna II with an average speed of 97 km/h, and
in 2005 as Team Nuon Solar Power with Nuna 3 with an average speed of 103 km/h.
The team has successfully come through its wind tunnel testing sessions. Its top speed is reported to be over 140km/hr. Team members are from the departments of Aerospace Engineering, Design Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Electrical Engineering and Shipbuilding. Some computer wiz kids are to be added.
More Nuna4 photos are available on Flickr Nuon Solarteam
A video with Dutch Language comment showing Nuna4's recent testing at the Dutch Trucker Manufacturer's DAF test course is added here.
Finally the Yellow solar car is the competition's entry from the University of Michigan's team named Continuum.