Just today the regulations for the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge were released. Since then the team has been meticulously reading the regulations. The team mailing list has been ablaze with emails looking at the impact of the regulations of the design.
From the regulations’ introduction here are the biggest changes that have been made for 2017:
- The maximum allowable size for cars has been increased to allow greater diversity of design, and provisions made to find synergy with other international events.
- Challenger solar collector area has been reduced to 4 m2 (for silicon PV) half of what was allowed in the first World Solar Challenge in 1987.
- Cruiser solar collector area is reduced to 5 m2 for silicon PV cells, to make it easier to fit a solar collector on a practical car.
- The apertures of solar reflectors and concentrators will be restricted.
- Refinements have been made to the requirements for occupant protection and vehicle dynamics. In addition there is a new requirement for mechanical braking on all road wheels.
- Energy storage limits have been removed for Cruiser Class, which will be run as a single stage regularity trial’, Success in Cruiser Class will be based on energy efficiency practicality and adherence to time targets.
- Adventure Class will be non-competitive.
This marks many large changes for all of the classes. For challenger class, which we hope to compete in, this greatly reduces the solar collector area. The regulations also limit solar concentrators and other devices which will ultimately reduce the power output of the car’s solar array. More than ever efficiency will be the name of the game as teams work to further optimize how the precious Watts the solar array produce are used. Car will be lighter, and more aerodynamic, and will continue to push the boundary of efficiency. our team is excited to take this challenge head on, and hopes to see everyone at the start line on Saturday October 8,2017.