Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Luminos and Stella 2 Cars in the World Solar Challenge

Here are two solar powered cars, Luminos and Stella that are both being entered into Australia's World Solar Challenge in October 2013. The goal of this competition is to travel 3000km across Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. The key qualifying feature is with the exception of 5kW hours of stored energy, all other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.

Luminos, is a Stanford Solar Car Project, which is the 11th such vehicle since their founding in 1989.

As reported in Cleantechnica, Luminos boasts several major innovations including their own highly efficient drive motors – one on each front wheel. Another innovation of the Luminos involves the use of monocrystalline silicon solar cells from Sunpower that have one of the highest production conversion efficiencies available in the world today, as well as a 3M-designed antireflective layer that also has excellent aerodynamic properties.

This robust vehicle boasts electrical and software design that make it the most efficient, durable, and reliable system the Stanford team has created to date.

Stella is the world’s first solar-powered family car, it has been constructed by Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Netherlands. As a family car Stella has enough room for four people, a trunk, and has a range of 600 kilometers (approx. 370 miles).

As reported in DailyFusion the Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Netherlands, presented the world’s first solar-powered family car. “Stella” is the first “energy-positive car” with enough room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering and a range of 600 kilometers (approx. 370 miles).

The car's designation as “energy-positive” means that solar cells generate more electricity than the car uses and the surplus electricity can be returned to the power grid.

The vehicles combination of aerodynamic design and lightweight make it a highly energy efficient car. The car includes a steering wheel that can expand or contract as that the car moves too fast or too slow which makes the driving process intuitive.

This vehicle is a fully-functional and will be certified for road use.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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