Japan’s Tokai University took top honors in the 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge race this past week, averaging 91.54 km/hour, and traveling 2,998 km in 32 hours and 45 minutes in a vehicle powered entirely by solar energy.
The Nuon Solar Team from the Netherlands placed second, while a U.S. team from the University of Michigan came in third (with a time of 35 hours and 33 minutes). The same three teams placed first, second and third in the 2009 event as well.
The annual solar car race pits international teams against each other to see who can travel from Darwin, Australia, to Adelaide in the fastest time. The solar cars are allowed 5 kW hours of stored energy; all other energy for the journey must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle. Thirty-seven teams competed in this year’s event. Continue reading