New Regulations for 2015 World Solar Challenge!

Three weeks ago on June 5th, the organizing committee released the rules for the 2015 World Solar Challenge. The World Solar Challenge, for anyone new to solar racing, is the arguably the world’s leading solar car race, in which teams compete in a 3,000 km journey across the Australian outback on nothing but the power of the sun. The Stanford Solar Car Project has competed in this event since its founding in 1989.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting this update since the end of the race in 2013, as teams and followers alike all speculated about what would change this next cycle. With this year’s rules, the World Solar Challenge has not disappointed us. The essence and spirit of the event prevails through each revision of the challenge, but a few key changes provide a fresh new challenge that we’ll have to innovate to address.

Notable changes that we’re faced with include a size constraint that applies to vehicles at all times (driving and static charging), forcing teams to to reconsider previous methods of array-stand charging and other power-collection strategies. There are also new electrical regulations, which will reduce the size of our battery pack and require reworking components on our existing electrical system. For more detail, you can view the new regulations here.

Around the same time as the rule release, we had a visit from Wendy Matthews, a member of the WSC organizing committee and friend of the Stanford Solar Car Project. Wendy was traveling on the west coast, and we were lucky enough to share a team dinner with her before her return to Australia. We had a great time talking about the 2013 race as well as looking forward towards the new regulations and new challenge of 2015. Thanks for visiting and it was great to see you, Wendy!

Wendy visit

Wendy and some of our team

In the weeks since then, we’ve all taken our final exams and wrapped up another year of school here at Stanford. As everyone settles into new schedules and arrangements for the summer, we’re also ramping up the intensity here at solar car and turning our attentions towards what looks to be an exciting next year and a half!

 

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