Friday, January 14, 2011
Fastest Solar Powered Car: Sunswift IVy sets world record
NOWRA, Australia -- The Sunswift IVy, built by a team from the University of New South Wales, Australia, clocked an average speed of 88.8 kph (55.2 mph) at a navy base in New South Wales - setting the new world record for the Fastest Solar Powered Car. Photo: The World's Fastest Solar Powered Car, which has an array of 400 silicon cells, was designed and built by a team of students from the Faculty of Engineering at Sydney's University of New South Wales. (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for The Fastest Solar Powered Car was 79 km/h for cars powered by silicon solar cells, set by the General Motors Sunraycer in 1988.
The new record for the World's Fastest Solar Powered Car was set at the HMAS Albatross navy base airstrip in Nowra.
Guinness World Records adjudicators were present at the time of the record.
The Sunswift IVy, weighting only 1/10th of the weight of an average car and equipped with a 98% efficient Brushless CSIRO 3 phase DC motor needs just 1300 watts of solar generated power to achieve it's estimated average speed of 85 km/h.
That's approximately the same amount of energy a toaster needs for toasting two pieces of bread.
The drivers for this world record successful attempt were Barton Mawer and Craig Davis, professional racing drivers from the electric car firm Tesla European Operations.
"We were confident. We only needed a little bit of sunshine and that was enough," declared Barton Mawer after the event.
The Sunswift IVy is roughly the same size as an average family car, but is one-tenth of the weight thanks to its carbon fiber frame. It has a top speed of 115 kph (71.5 mph) and cost $280,000 AUD to develop.
Another similar Guinness world record is the longest journey by electric vehicle (non-solar) without recharging the batteries: 555.6 km (345.23 miles), achieved by Tadashi Tateuchi (Japan) who drove his Mira EV from Tokyo to Osaka, Japan.
Guinness World Records also recognized the fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power: 29 days by sun21 (Switzerland) and its crew of five from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Le Marin, Martinique.