The ultimate test in technology
The nine teams in the South African Sasol Solar Challenge drove a collective 16 249km, stopping in 18 towns, starting in Pretoria and ﬁnishing in Cape Town. One of the teams taking part in the race was South Africa’s entry from Tshwane University of Technology with its car – SunChaser 3
30 FEB / MARCH 2019
South African Sasol Solar Challenge 2018 THE South African Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years and sees local and international teams from across the world compete against each other over eight-days. The teams and their solar-powered cars rack up as much distance as they can on loops between Pretoria and Cape Town. All competing teams have to design and build a solar-powered vehicle that is entered into one of four categories: Challenger Class, Adventure Class, Cruiser Class, and Sustainability Fleet – with each category having different rules and objectives. The Sasol Solar Challenge is not only the ultimate test of technology but it also promotes science, engineering, math and technology in the form of a mobile classroom that stops at every school who participates, showing the different ways in which these subjects are applied correctly in real life. To up the ante even further, the teams are run like a professional racing team; they need to work together to
raise money to compete, they are expected to create and handle their own marketing and logistics, analyse the route’s weather, be familiar with the road conditions as well as demonstrate their design, manufacturing and strategy skills. Defending champions of 2016, the Dutch Nuon Solar team once again took the winning title for 2018 with their updated version, the Nuna9S solar vehicle, which completed a distance of just over 4 030km. Japan’s Tokai University Solar Team took second place and the Swiss Solar Energy Racers came in third. The winning Nuna9S is the most intelligent version of the Nuna ever made. With the help of an innovative radar system, Nuna9S can adjust the driving characteristics to its surroundings so that it can drive as sustainably as possible. For instance, Nuna9S can recognise trafﬁc and inclinations of the road and is able to adapt its velocity as a response. With
the use of this technique, Nuna9s can drive more efﬁciently with the power of the sun. Together the nine teams drove 16 249km, stopping in 18 towns, starting in Pretoria and ﬁnishing in Cape Town.
Defending champions of 2016, the Dutch Nuon Solar team took the winning title for 2018 with their updated version, the Nuna9S solar vehicle