The solar car technology project at Stanford University started as a student-run organization way back in 1989. Primarily focused on designing, building, and racing solar cars, the students’ ultimate goal is to be able to join at the World Solar Challenge competition, a major event held in Australia every other year.
During the World Solar Challenge last 2013, Luminos, the solar car entry by Stanford University, was able to win fourth place. This was the team’s best performance to date in the solar car competition.
Solar car race over 3000km from Darwin to Adelaide
The 2013 placing meant Stanford had also earned the prestigious title of US’s premier solar car team. In the next 2015 challenge, to be held in October, a new solar team will represent the university. At the same time, a brand new solar car will be used at the upcoming competition.
And in commemoration of the twenty-fifth year anniversary of the University of Stanford Solar Car Technology Project, a documentary was produced by the Precourt Institute for Energy.
The short film features the team’s impressive top-5 finish during the World Solar Challenge of 2013. It also shows the long and gruelling 3,000 km race that covers the great Australian outback.
The solar industry in the US has noting but high praises for the efforts of the Stanford Solar Car Project. Even the racing industry is 100% behind this premier car team, which continues to deliver impressive feats in solar car racing, considering that all its members are undergraduates.
Stanford University continue to strive for a more successful design
Compared to other undergraduate solar teams from all over the world, Stanford is recognized as the best. Its growth has been exponential since its inception in the late 80s. It is unique that a non-profit group entirely composed of students had gained so much success, especially in the area that concerns the use of renewable energy to power a car.
When they competed in the World Solar Challenge, they brought with them the strong conviction to win or at least place highly. They wanted to realize their goal knowing that it is an effective way of propagating the use of solar cars and PV energy not only in the US but all around the world as well.
The project itself offers a great chance for university students to enjoy vital hands-on experience – both in the aspects of business and engineering – when it comes to increasing the awareness of communities to the immense and beneficial power derived from solar energy. The students are given the opportunity to promote lightweight, aerodynamic, and energy efficient vehicles.
Solar car project promoting the possibilities of renewable energy
The World Solar Challenge is an important solar car technology event that happens every two years. And that is why the student-participants at Stanford consider it as an important project cycle that’s more than just an ordinary extracurricular activity.
Every team member is required be able to balance their involvement with project work and university activities. Each member must also remember that they belong to a project dedicated to building some of the most efficient vehicles in the world. And with all efforts focused on the upcoming race, everyone is looking forward to another prolific finish.
Photo courtesy of SUSolarCar on Flickr