Clouds for Solar Challenge – but they have a silver lining


2486 solar car 4 OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
How much of a worry will clouds be if Alice goes solar?
This question in the accelerating local renewable energy debate is getting an answer from the 2017 Solar Challenge: Not a huge lot.
Dark clouds in The Centre isn’t slowing down the cars all that much: On Day Three the Netherland’s Nuon Solar Team is continuing its domination, travelling around 86km per hour.
The team has established a lead of around 40km and is now midway between Alice Springs and Kulgera, having covered 1608 kms since the start in Darwin.
The Australian Clenergy Team Arrow (pictured under dark clouds at Traeger Park) is spending tonight night in Alice.
The 44 cars compete in three classes: Challenger (in a single stage from Darwin to Adelaide), Cruiser (a regularity trial) and Adventure Class (a non-competitive class which provides opportunity for cars built for previous events).
Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure.
All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.
These electric vehicles on their way to Adelaide are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles in the world, say the organisers.


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