WSC:World Solar Challenge

What is the WSC: The 2003 edition, from 19th to 28th October 2003: The stages of the World Solar Cycle Challenge: Upcoming races:

What is the WSC:  top

This race, which is about 3.000 km long through the australian desert, was disputed in 1987 and since then it represents the diamond point of experience on solar vehicles and the main stage of all research applied in exploiting the sun for covering long distances.

The World Solar Challenge comes into being through initiative of Hans Thostrup, the danish pioneer born in 1944 who was the first to circumnavigate Australia on board of a 16 foot open boat.

At the end of the 70's, after the world energy crisis, Hans Thostrup,a sports car lover and rally driver, is inspired by this new type of clean mobility which would take him, along with the help of Larry Perkins, to drive the "Quiet Achiever", the first solar vehicle, for 4052 kilometers from Sydney to Perth in 20 days.

This was the starting point which later on led to the first world solar challenge in 1987, and out of 23 rivals the GM Sunraycer prevailed, completing the trip with an average speed of 67 km/h.

Already in 1990 there was a much greater number of vehicles displaying many technical improvements in comparison with 1987. The winner in 1990 was the team of the swiss engineering school of Biel.

This race is defined by the “Brain Sport” organizers, because besides the innovative technology on the vehicle, the team must, first and foremost, manage well the available energy. In fact, in the specific race in which Dini Motive Team participates, that is the WSCC World Solar Cycle Challenge, the only energy which may be used to “move” is the sun, and of course, along with a system of accumulators and the strength of the cyclists.

The WSCC, which is part of the World Solar Challenge WSC, regards specifically the electrical-muscular vehicles, will spread also this year on a course of 1739 km in South Australia departing from Ceduna and arriving in Adelaide.

The 2003 edition, from 19th to 28th October 2003:  top

Today the World Solar Challenge is not just the most important solar event in the world in which all rivals want to win, but a precious bench test for perfecting sustainable transportation alternatives for the future generations.

The sponsors are truly of international prominence, both hi-tech firms specifically involved in the solar energy business as well as ones that are simply attracted by the popularity of the event in itself (Mc Donalds for all)

These futuristic vehicles, which travel at various speeds between Darwin and Adelaide moved only by the sun and creativity of man, represent the hope for a cleaner and better future with solar energy.

The organisation's rules provide for a photovoltaic panel having a minimum surface of 0,15 mq and a maximum one of 1.6 mq and an accumulation energy not greater than 950 w/h. Only the balanced use of the three available energy sources (electric, solar, and muscular of the cyclists who alternate during each leg of the journey) shows to be a determining factor for a successful race.

As one can guess, the photovoltaic system and the accumulators have a fundamental role, and this is what has made the race a real battleground for the leading firms in these fields which contend for the large future market of the alternate energy.

In the last competition the NUNA vehicle took 32 hours and 39 minutes to finish the race, with an average speed of 91 km/h, and with a maximum speed of over 100 km/h, moved only by solar energy. The applied technology on this vehicle derives directly from that used in space. The ESA, European Space Agency, was directly involved in the application of the vehicle body, the triple junction GaSa solar cells, with an efficiency greater than 24% and with a supply of 46  Li ioni cells weighing 35 kg.

The stages of the World Solar Cycle Challenge:  top

19/10/03 Ceduna-Elliston 235 km
20/10/03 Elliston-Pt Lincoln 212 km
21/10/03 Pt Lincoln-Cleve 221 km
22/10/03 Cleve-Whyalla 253 km
23/10/03 Whyalla-Port Pirie 178 km + 74 km transport
24/10/03 Melrose-Clare 228 km + 64km transport
25/10/03 Clare-Kapunda 200 km
26/10/03 Kapunda-Adelaide 74 km

 The categories WSCC:
  - A Class

   standard two wheel bicycles (without aerodynamic profiles)

  - B Class
   recumbent or experimental bicycles with aerodynamic profiles.

  - C1 Class
   Aerodynamic vehicles with at least three wheels.
  - C2 Class
   Aerodynamic vehicles with at least three wheels with lead batteries

The solar “Maiale” will partecipate in the B category (Sperimental Cycle) which in the last edition was won by the XR2 Solar team, racing 1553 km at an average of 38 km/h.

Upcoming races:  top

A summary list of this type of events in Europe and around the world in which DMT is considering participating:

  Maggio 2004
  From Atene to Olimpia
      American Solar Challenge / Solar BikeRayce USA:
  next edition is foreseen for July 2005.
To find out more about these here are the links one can explore:

America Solar Challenge (USA)
World Solar-car Rallye (Japan)
Winston Solar Challenge (USA)
Solar Car Haethon 2004 (Greece)
Immagini dettagliate del percorso del WSC
detailed images of the distance of the WSC