A solar car designed and built by University of New South Wales students broke the Guinness World Record for fastest solar vehicle.
The Sunswift solar car hit 55 mph at the HMAS Albatross navy base airstrip in Nowra, Australia, beating the previous record of 49 mph. The record is for vehicles powered only by silicon solar cells, so the team removed the battery from the car for the speed trial. For the special occasion the car had special drivers: Barton Mawer, a professional racing driver and Craig Davis, head of Tesla's European operations.
While 55 mph was enough to cinch an official world record, the car has previously hit a top speed of 64 mph in a race, and other solar cars have tested at 100 mph.
It may not seem so amazing since 55 - 64 mph is everyday driving for traditional cars, but solar cars are making leaps in speed, aerodynamics, efficiency and weight reduction pretty quickly. The technology may never fully power a mass-produced sedan, but every gain solar car designers make can lead to useful applications in electric and gas-fueled cars.
written by Marcela, January 07, 2011
written by Asaf Shalgi, January 09, 2011
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