- Tokai University Solar Car Team Completes the World Solar Challenge 2013
Japan's Tokai University completed the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013 on October 10 with its solar car equipped with Panasonic's HIT(R) solar cells(*1) and high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. Overcoming obstacles such as the harsh weather conditions and midst some of its competitors retiring midway in the race, the Tokai University solar car team was able to stay strong and steady crossing the finish line in Adelaide at about 1:22 pm (Australian Central Standard Time) on October 10, completing a total distance of 3,021 km powered only by solar energy.
The World Solar Challenge, which was first held in 1987 and has become a biennial event since 1999, is a time-based competition in which university and corporate teams from all around the world compete in covering a distance of 3,021km from Darwin in the north down to Adelaide in the south. A total of 42 teams from 24 countries and territories participated in the race this year.
Panasonic's HIT(R) solar cells deliver the industry's top-level energy output per unit of area(*2) and have high heat tolerance characteristics with less degradation of power output at high temperatures - even under the harsh Australian sun - compared with ordinary crystalline silicon-based solar cells. The HIT solar cells demonstrated their strengths in the race, whose regulations limit the total area of solar cells installed on the car's body, powering the team along in the harsh Australian climate. For this year's race, Panasonic provided HIT solar cell modules specially designed and manufactured for the Tokai Challenger, using the same solar cells - the main component that converts the sunlight into electricity - that are mainly mass-produced for home use.
- The fast sailing the road in the middle of the desert!
- Standing HIT solar panel in the direction of the sun by the teamwork
In addition, the high-capacity cylindrical 18650 lithium-ion batteries (diameter: 18 mm; height: 65 mm) with Panasonic's proprietary nickel-based anode stored the electricity generated by the HIT solar cells, enabling the car to continue traveling even on cloudy days with little sunshine.
The international solar car race across Australia's desert heartland provided Panasonic an opportunity to prove the high performance and durability of its HIT(R) solar cells and high-capacity lithium-ion batteries under the tough conditions of the race. Panasonic's energy technology once again demonstrated its strengths in the race this year.
- More Photos of Tokai University Team in the WSC 2013
- Panasonic Supports Tokai University Solar Car Team with HIT Solar Cells and Lithium-ion Batteries (Aug 27, 2013)
- [Product] HIT Solar Global
- [Product] Batteries & Energy
- Tokai University Solar Car Team Facebook Page
- World Solar Challenge Official Website
*1 HIT is a registered trademark and an original technology of the Panasonic Group. *2 In terms of area (per m2) and system capacity (per kW) in Japan's domestic industry for solar power generating systems for home use, according to Panasonic's survey. Annual estimated power generation per 1 kW of photovoltaic system capacity: 1,188 kWh/kW [Conditions: Osaka city, HIT233/HIT240/HIT240α/HIT245α, Power conditioner VBPC255A4: 96% (in case of 330 V)] as of June, 2013. Based on Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association Standard "Annual Estimated Power Generation Calculation Formula"