The organization of the World Solar Challenge has announced the regulations for the 2017 edition. In the Challenger class, the solar panels on the cars can only have a surface of four square meters instead of six square meters.
In the Cruiser class, which focuses on practical cars with two or more seats, only a maximum of five square meters of solar panels can be used. In comparison with the first edition of the World Solar Challenge in 1987, the surface of solar panels that can be used is halved. The adjustment should probably make sure that the teams make further optimization in their designs. Now that the regulations are published, the participating teams can start designing and building their cars.
While the cars may contain fewer solar panels, the maximum dimensions are increased. The organisation believes that this will result in more diversity in the designs of the participating teams. Designs for the Challenger and Cruiser class can be up to 5 meters long, 2,2 meters wide and 1,6 meters high. For the 2015 race this was still 4,5 x 1,8 x 2,2 meters.
Since the year 2001, Dutch teams almost won every edition of World Solar Challenge. In 2015 the team of Eindhoven won the Cruiser class while TU Delft was the winner of the Challenger race. The Australian organisation urges participants from other countries to put an end to the Dutch victories with the motto ‘take on the Dutch’. It is expected that in the next edition about 50 teams of 25 different countries will participate.
The next Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts in Australia on October 8, 2017. The route from Darwin to Adelaide is 3.000 km long and it is expected that the first cars will reach the finish line on October 12.