CUT solar car launch
The CUT will be participating in the 2018 Sasol Solar Car Challenge for the first time this year. The solar racing team ‘Seilatsatsi’ will be competing against the best teams in the world.
The newly constructed CUT Solar Car ‘Pere ea Letsatsi’ meaning magic of horsepower from the sun was CAD designed, engineered and built by our Engineers at CUT labs. The carbon-fibre vehicle is fitted with the state-of-the-art technology for tracking power including the cruise control feature.
The race is scheduled to take place for eight days (22-30 September 2018) across South Africa to test the durability and endurance of the cars built. Teams are set to cover the most distance on the set route each day and additional loops can be added should the teams have more power left in their solar cars. The race relies entirely on good engineering, great drivers and team managers that can manage energy as well as work accordingly with the weather conditions. The record to break using solar power is 4 500 km.
At the launch Prof. Alfred Ngowi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement state “Dr Nicolaas Luwes, our team leader and senior lecturer in Engineering as well as his 21-member team has of course been instrumental in making this project a success. His perseverance and inspiration have motivated his team and all of us here at CUT and, is a reason to celebrate our technological advances in this special way”. He added that the solar car was just the beginning, as CUT continues on a journey of technological innovations.
The eight-stage route will commence in Pretoria on 22 September 2018, and head to Sasolburg where there will be optional loops that can be used to get as many kilometres as possible before ending the day’s race in Kroonstad before 17:00. The team that gets the most distance per day wins.
Stage 2 of the race starts at Kroonstad to Bloemfontein on 23 September 2018 with the loops at Windburg.
Stage 3 of the race, the teams depart from Bloemfontein to Gariep with Edenburg loop on 24 September 2018.
Stage 4, the departure is on 25 September 2018 from Gariep Dam to Graaff Reinet with Middelburg loops.
Stage 5, teams will leave on 26 September 2018 for Graaff-Reinet with Jansenville loop to Port Elizabeth.
Stage 6 departure is from Port Elizabeth to Kareedouw loop Sedgefield on 27 September 2018
Stage 7, departure will be on 28 September 2018 from Sedgefield to Mosselbay and loop to Swellendam.
Stage 8 is the last lap where teams will depart from Swellendam Agulhas loop via Bredasdorp to Stellenbosch on 29 September 2018, and the final stage of the Sasol Solar Car Challenge 2018 awards function will be held at Grand West Casino in Cape Town.
Some of the world’s top teams attending this year’s event include the current world champions, Nuon from Delft University in the Netherlands and the former world champions, Tokai University from Japan.
The new kids on the block this year are teams from City University of Hong Kong from China, Manipal University from India, and the Solar Energy Racers from Switzerland.
The home teams include the Tshwane University of Technology, North-West University, and newcomers Seilatsatsi from the Central University of Technology, and Sonke – a combined team from St Alban’s College and St Augustine’s LEAP School. It is worthy to note that South Africa is among the few countries where high school teams are permitted to compete alongside university students.
Sponsors of the project that the CUT would like to thank include TIA, Sasol, Product Development Technology Station, Hyundai Bloemfontein Office, Fenwicks Butchery, Advanced, FibreForm, CodePure, Best, Panaroti’s, and Wimpy Vikings.
1: Launch of the CUT Solar Car, ‘Pere ea Letsatsi’.
2: Team ‘Seilatsatsi’ loading the car for the trip to Pretoria in preparation for the start of the race.
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