Chasing the sun: the Sasol Solar Challenge

Dutch team Nuon Solar
Image Credit: Sean Woods
Date:17 November 2014 Author: Sean Woods Tags:,

The endless back country roads, the oppressive cockpit and the relentless, energy-sapping assault on the mind and body of individual and team alike are now a distant memory. For the elite few, the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge went according to plan, more or less. For the rest, it was an education. In some cases, an often brutal education. That’s the thing about the Sun: fly too close and you get burnt.

The gruelling, eight-day country-wide challenge (see “The challenge”) showcases advanced technologies and mechanical derring-do. It brings together engineers, academics, scientists – just general solar geeks – and puts their Sun-powered creations to the test. Thing is, this test doesn’t take place in a comfortable air-conditioned lab or secure closed circuit unbothered by traffic and in ideal conditions. Competitors go head to head in the real world, on actual roads and in the weather that happens to be current at the time.

PM looks at the what makes and breaks a Sasol Solar Challenge contender in the December 2014 issue – on sale 17 November.

Related blog –
* Sasol Solar Challenge 2014: A race of contrasts


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