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Exciting showcase for the world's young people.


Old Koreelah
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There was info about it on the ABC several days back, but the real reason it doesn't get air time is the fact that nobody is really interested in a so called car that has to be pampered and can still only carry one person. Over the years there has been so little improvement in those cars that it is just a big yawn.

 

 

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There was info about it on the ABC several days back, but the real reason it doesn't get air time is the fact that nobody is really interested in a so called car that has to be pampered and can still only carry one person. Over the years there has been so little improvement in those cars that it is just a big yawn.

 

 

 

I personally find it fascinating.  Yes it is a vehicle that carries one person and has a support team but that is missing the obvious point.   This is a competition between engineers and scientists to improve batteries, solar panels and other technologies it is not to build a car for the public to drive to work in.  

 

Formula 1 racing has also provided many innovations that have been adopted in standard road cars, this is how progress happens.   I can understand that you find it a yawn and that is fair enough but personally I am interested in technological innovation.  

 

 

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The comparison to F1 cars is a good one. They, too, only carry one person, and require an army of technical support, shipping containers of spares, tons of computer gear to race around a small circuit. The solar cars are mainly supported by engineering students who are learning as they go, travel from Darwin to Adelaide, and have to contend with B- trebbles and the like which the wake of such must play havoc with those ultralight vehicles.

 

 

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I just wonder what has come out of the years of competition with the solar cars. I cannot think of any great advance they have made.

 

 

 

It is never straight forward to list a particular innovation but the performances of the most recent vehicles has improved markedly.    The way we get advances in technology is the by pushing the limits to squeeze every drop of performance.  Areas that are benefiting from this "science and engineering" competition are battery technology , solar panels, tyres (low rolling resistance) aerodynamics, computing and even weather prediction.    

 

Apart from that this is a practical experience in engineering for mostly engineering students from places like MIT etc. It is practical and competitive.  Early aviation races or competitions probably seemed relevant to the general public however a small aircraft crossing the atlantic was a necessary step in the progression to the airline industry we have today.

 

I can only see the solar race as a good thing.   People are happy to use the technology we have to day without realizing that it came from tiny steps and missteps.   along the way.  These days we seem to expect that new technologies should appear fully formed and perfected but this has never been the case in the past.

 

https://www.lufft.com/blog/en/how-a-lufft-sensor-helps-to-improve-a-solar-car/

 

During the race of 2017, we developed a new feature called crab-steering. Thanks to this innovation it was possible to use the side wind effects to our advantage: The new steering system is able to turn the car’s whole chassis at a certain angle. This makes the car act like a sail using the aerodynamic forces to become faster.

 

 

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https://theconversation.com/the-world-solar-challenge-and-the-future-of-solar-cars-3932

 

Despite the differences between solar racing cars and more practical conventional cars, the technology developed for solar racing is playing, and will continue to play, an important role in developing more efficient vehicles:

 

  • The low-mass materials and construction techniques used for solar cars can be used to build low-mass practical vehicles that will use considerably less energy than conventional cars.
     
  • Principles of aerodynamic-drag-reduction used in solar cars can be applied to conventional cars, and will be increasingly important as vehicle mass is reduced.
     
  • Motors designed specifically for solar cars have peak efficiencies greater than 98%. The same techniques can be used to design more efficient motors for electric vehicles and for other applications.
     
  • The highly-efficient motor controllers and photovoltaic panel controllers developed for solar cars can be applied to more practical electric vehicles and to general photovoltaic systems.
     
  • The World Solar Challenge remains an important test bed for efficient battery configurations and battery management systems.
     

 

But most importantly the students, engineers and enthusiasts who design, build and operate solar cars gain a deep understanding of the importance of energy efficiency and how it can be achieved.

 

These are the people who will shape our future.

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I like the solar car race but I wish there was a category for  more normal cars, by which I mean 2 seats and in principle able to be registered.

 

I would also have an electric car race with solar recharge and more than one battery pack allowed, as an associated event .

 

 

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I like the solar car race but I wish there was a category for  more normal cars, by which I mean 2 seats and in principle able to be registered.

 

I would also have an electric car race with solar recharge and more than one battery pack allowed, as an associated event .

 

 

 

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I like the solar car race but I wish there was a category for  more normal cars, by which I mean 2 seats and in principle able to be registered.

 

I would also have an electric car race with solar recharge and more than one battery pack allowed, as an associated event .

 

 

 

This concept car was designed and built by members of a team that one the solar race 3 times. Not pure solar though. 

 

 

 

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Many motorcycles in the 20s did better MPG figures than most do today. I once put on a feature ride for Scott motorcycles where you fill the tank, do a fixed course and refill the tank under supervision. The variation was very significant, mainly due to how they were ridden (in my View) as the bikes didn't vary much..

 

  ON another occasion a fixed supply of fuel was arranged to be  available for all bikes and the point at which they ran out of it was recorded. Two capacities were designated Under and over 1,000 cc's ..    Indians won both and were  sidevalves which are notoriously not good at fuel economy 84 MPG for the larger 1,000 Powerplus and 120 MPG for a 600cc scout. Nev

 

 

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Interesting test, Nev. I've recorded every tankful of fuel I've ever bought, to keep an eye on fuel economy.

 

The best economy has been on big singles. I also used to get excellent mileage on my Ducati during wet weather, which at the time I put down to being a rough sort of water-injection advantage.

 

Much later I realised it was more because of the effect of wet roads on my use of the twist grip.

 

 

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The only Douglas twin I've seen was in a private museum in Cairns, which I've mentioned here before.

 

The proud owner showed me dozens of road racers he'd collected during his racing career from the fifties to the nineties, including the most amazing Ducatis, Guzzies, BMWs, BSAs, Barry Sheens's Suzukis, etc.

 

When I asked about the 1930s Douglas, he said his mum had raced that one.

 

 

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I like the solar car race but I wish there was a category for  more normal cars, by which I mean 2 seats and in principle able to be registered.

 

I would also have an electric car race with solar recharge and more than one battery pack allowed, as an associated event .

 

 

 

https://www.hyundai.news/eu/brand/hyundai-launches-first-car-with-solar-roof-charging-system/

 

 

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Technically, it's relatively easy to convert most VANS to HYBRID. There's plenty of space underneath for a motor/generator in the tailshaft line and the batteries. You could switch off the ICE in slow moving traffic and use the electric to assist when passing. The interest in this seems to have diminished  surprisingly.  Nev

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are so many people people working on EV  and battery design, that sooner or later, there will be a substantial breakthrough, and the balance will tip in favour of EV.

 

I seem to recall that Thomas Edison went through over a 1000 different types of electric globe (bulb) filament, before he found the tungsten wire filament was the one that provided the amount of light required, along with satisfactory lifespan.

 

When a reporter asked Edison how it felt to fail 1,000 times, Edison replied: "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention of 1,000 steps."

 

The CSIRO has developed and produced (with a commercial partner - Ecoult Ultrabattery) a battery with an inbuilt capacitor. I believe this style of battery has great potential.

 

However, the CSIRO battery is still only a lead-acid battery, and it's designed for specifically for grid and home energy storage. Weight is still against L-A batteries in any moving equipment.

 

Here in the Wild West, you may recall a bloke named Ralph Sarich. Ralph produced an Orbital engine based on the design of a vane-type hydraulic pump he saw disassembled in the company workshop, when he was a bulldozer salesman in the early 1960's (and yes, I can actually claim that I met and knew Ralph, when tried to sell me a bulldozer, back then, too! He worked for Tutt-Bryants, who had the Allis-Chalmers earthmoving equipment agency).

 

Ralph never got the success he desired with the Orbital engine (vane sealing and cooling were the two main problems) - but he made a pile of money (reportedly around $500M back in the 1980's), and his team developed many useful inventions associated with engine combustion improvements, and engine accessories design.

 

Ralph went into real estate in a big way (and still has huge commercial property holdings, with his main company, Cape Bouvard Investments) - but he is still interested in, and pushing, technological developments.

 

One of his companies, Cape Bouvard Technologies, is developing what is known as the "Lithium Ripple battery". This battery is also being developed as a "structural member" battery for vehicles, resulting in major cost savings in EV build.

 

The CBT "Lithium Ripple battery" has an innovative design with 6 times better cooling than a standard lithium battery, a 35% weight saving, and up to 40% cost saving in vehicle build costs.

 

Maybe the CBT battery will end up going nowhere, if someone else jumps the gun, and produces a much more efficient and lighter battery - but I'll wager old Ralph will have added something useful to the technological knowledge base, with his new battery design.

 

http://www.capebouvardtechnologies.com.au/home

 

 

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