Monday, October 5, 2015

WSC 2015 Updates: Monday October 5th

Here's our weekly summary of all of the WSC 2015 activity. Thanks to everyone who sent in tips!

Many teams are testing on the Cox Peninsula this week. We've heard reports of Nuon, Blue Sky, Kogakuin, Twente, Punch, Bochum, Eindhoven, and EAFIT all testing out there this week.

Other teams are testing on the Stuart Highway between Glendambo and the Northern Territory/South Australia border. By our count, Michigan, Cambridge, WSU, UNSW, Stanford, and Minnesota have all done some testing down south this week.

Notably, we have zero news about Antakari or RVCE, and haven't since we started blogging here. Every other Challenger class team is either already in Australia, or confirmed in transit.

We've heard fragmentary and conflicting reports of a team (or teams?) that damaged their car(s) during testing. Most (but not all) rumors point to a team in SA rather than NT, but aren't clear on which team. If you've heard anything concrete or have photographs, please drop us a line.

Here's the team-by-team breakdown:

Challenger Class

2: University of Michigan

It sounds like the team has spent the whole week testing. They've released a couple of very nicely produced "teasers" of what will presumably be longer videos (12). I can't wait to see the finished videos.

They have re-vinyl-wrapped their semi trailer, and well... here are my thoughts on that.

Wired has written up a very nice article on the team, and a very interesting article about their weather forecasting has surfaced as well.

Nuon has spent the whole week testing on the Cox Peninsula.

Astute readers will recall that Nuon unveiled Nuna7 in 2013 with a uniform Gochermann array, but raced with a composite Gochermann/SunCat Solar LLC array (Note the difference in patterning on different modules here; where SunCat modules are located is very visible here). SunCat had supplied Nuon with a sample of their new process, and Nuon was so impressed with its performance, they took all the modules they were able to produce before WSC - even though they didn't have enough time to make a full array's worth. When Nuon took Nuna7 to South Africa in 2014, they put a complete brand new Gochermann array on the car. Now Nuon has officially unwrapped Nuna8's solar array, revealing a full SunCat array for 2015.

Gochermann has some new stuff out that Michigan is using this year, but it seems like Nuon has decided that SunCat's stuff is just better.

4: Antakari Solar Team

Absolutely no updates from this team. We've reached out to the team for comment.

The team has set up their workspace in Darwin, and begun testing on the Cox Peninsula. They've posted photos of the inside of the car, revealing what I believe to be a primary chassis structure created from prefabricated carbon fiber tubes. IIRC Aurora's three wheeled cars were built like this for years and years...

7: MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team

Haven't heard anything since Arcturus landed in Sydney over two weeks ago.

8: Punch Powertrain Solar Team

Punch has spent most of the week testing on the Cox Peninsula. They've finally shown their solar array, also revealing a SunCat/Chuzel array.

The team has declared a mysterious secret trip to Sydney.

10: Tokai University Solar Car Team

The team's first members arrived in Australia this week, receiving their car in Melbourne. They are trucking the car up to Darwin, and are currently in Cooper Pedy.

It's from last month, but we recently discovered a photo album of the 2015 Tokai Challenger from Zero to Darwin Project. Of particular interest is this photo showing some extreme measures to move components to the side of the car opposite the driver - note the relay box located on the right, with long carbon linkages for the driver to flip them from the left side of the car.

12: Cambridge University Eco Racing

The Cambridge team has made it to Darwin. Their blog shows a picture of Evolution's array up on stands. As far as I can tell, those are just the solar cells that are under the clear portion of the back of the car - no extra cells. Since they only claim to have 2.36sqm of their allowed 3sqm of gallium cells, I'd be very surprised if they don't have some tricks hidden up their sleeves.

13: WSU Solar Car Project

The team departed for Darwin in the middle of the week. They recently set up camp in Marla, just south of the border with the Northern Territory, and it sounds like they plan to stay for a few days. Teams are only allowed to test on the Cox Peninsula within the Northern Territory, so it sounds like WSU plans to do their extended testing on the Stuart Highway south of the border.

Also: I don't think I want to share any meals with WSU, if that's their "menu" :p

14: UKZN Solar Car

UKZN's car Hulamin is unpacked and waiting in a workshop in Darwin. One of their team members has posted about the customs process. Several team members are currently driving up the Stuart highway from Adelaide to meet with the rest of the team and the car in Darwin (they may have arrived already?). The team has also posted a video update.

15: Team Solaris

The team says the last of their members have arrived in Australia. They've posted a video from the Melbourne Turkish News as well as a Turkish language podcast update.

16: Stanford Solar Car Project

The last we heard, they had done some testing on the Stuart Highway and were starting their mock race from Glendambo up to the NT/SA border. The team has posted a quick summary of their three day mock race in South Australia. It sounds like they're going to do some more testing before departing for Darwin.

17: NWU Solar Car

Still no news on the status of the car since it arrived in Sydney three weeks ago, but the team continues to post interesting infographics comparing the car to kangaroos.

18: EcoPhoton Solar Team

No updates on the car this week, which I believe shipped about a month ago. They have posted some photos of spare parts (12). Also, the team's website has gone offline...

21: Solar Team Twente

The team has spent all week out testing on the Cox Peninsula. They've still been keeping the array tightly under wraps.

22: Siam Technology College

Still no major news since the car shipped three weeks ago. The team posted a photo of passports.

23: MegaLux GAMF

The team has received their car in Darwin.

25: Goko High School Solar Car Team

Since this team does not have any social media or website, no updates :(

26: Durham University Solar Car

It's been a busy week for Durham. Their car has arrived in Darwin, part of the team is scouting the race route and more team members have arrived. They've also shipped some last parts. They've been writing a lot of sponsor thank-you posts on their blog - notably, Gochermann.

27: RVCE Solar Car Team

Still no news from this team about the state of their car. This news article the team posted to Facebook back in mid-August claimed the team would be in Australia on October 2nd, but that date has come and gone...

30: Team Arrow

Team Arrow recently departed for Darwin.

32: Principia Solar Car

The first members arrived in Australia this week.

36: Anadolu Solar Team

Anadolu has posted a Road to WSC video onto their Facebook page. It also sounds like some members are in Adelaide planning the drive to Darwin.

46: JU Solar Team

The team has arrived in Darwin.

47: Nagoya Institute of Technology Solar Car Team

No updates that I could find this week, although we believe the car shipped quote a while ago.

51: KIT Solar Car Project

KIT's advance team has departed Japan. They are heading for Adelaide, and will drive up through the outback to Darwin.

77: Blue Sky Solar Racing

The team arrived in Darwin at the start of the week, and has been testing on the Cox Peninsula for the past three days - meeting other teams along the way.

The team has posted some photos to Flickr. I particularly appreciate this one :)

80: Beijing Institute of Technology

No social media that I know of, so no news :(

82: Kookmin University Solar Car Team

The team posted their schedule on Facebook. It sounds like some team members were due to arrive in both Darwin and Adelaide yesterday, and the whole team will be in Darwin by the 10th.

Cruiser Class

11: Hochschule Bochum SolarCar Projekt

Bochum spent the whole week testing out on the Cox Peninsula. They've posted a bunch of photos to Facebook, and this nice video update. Note in this photo that they are using the Schwalbe tires.

24: Istanbul Technical University Solar Car Team

No updates that I could find this week.

28: SunSpec

It's been a massively busy week for SunSpec. First, check out this news story about SunSpec's return from their August fire. This week, the team shipped the car, advance team members flew to Adelaide, drove north through the outback, and the entire team has met up in Darwin.

The car looks really good, doubly so for a car that was built in little more than a month! I'm deeply impressed, and wish them the best of luck in the race.

31: ITS Solar Car Racing Team

The team doesn't seem to have made any updates this week.

33: IVE Solar Car

Also no updates from IVE this week.

35: University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project

The team was in Glendambo at the start of the weekend, and did some test driving on the Stuart Highway. The team packed it in after only a few days and is currently near Darwin with this sweet plywood trailer.

38: Persian Gazelle Solar Car

No major updates since the car shipped a week and a half ago. Comments on that post indicate that the team will be flying to Australia this upcoming week.

40: Solar Team Eindhoven

The team has been testing out on the Cox Peninsula all week. They've been posting a lot to their YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

43: Ardingly Solar Car

The team's car cleared customs in Sydney earlier this week, and it sounds like the team is in the process of bringing it to Darwin. The team has started a blog, and see also this news article about the team.

45: KGHM Lodz Solar Team

The team recently departed for Australia. They've also published a video of testing the car.

75: UNSW Sunswift

UNSW departed from Sydney in the middle of the week, and was in Coober Pedy at the start of the weekend. It sounds like they've been testing the car a little out on the Stuart Highway.

88: Kogakuin University Solar Vehicle Project

Kogakuin arrived in Darwin, obtained a license to test in the Northern Territory, and has been testing on the Cox Peninsula for the past few days.

Adventure Class

6: PI Solar Car


20: Houston Solar Race Team

The advance team in Australia started off the week receiving the car from quarantine. The team back in the USA has had their sendoff dinner and are due to depart on Thursday.

34: Liberty Christian Solar Car Team

Some advance members have arrived in Australia and the rest of the team is due to depart on Thursday. Nigel also pointed out to us this older news article about the team from the start of August.

42: TAFE SA Solar Spirit

No updates directly from the team, but this news article was published earlier in the week.


  1. I posted a list of the teams not yet confirmed to have left for Australia. Some of those I expect to quietly appear at Hidden Valley; some of those I expect to withdraw.

    1. Yeah, I'm reasonably certain that Tehran and ITS will show up, and I'm hoping Istanbul is just bad at social media - they unveiled the car ages ago. The only two that I really don't expect to see are the same two that you've listed as concerning.