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Cape Peninsula University of Technology

TEAM | Cape Peninsula University of Technology

CAR NAME | CPUT Solar Flyers

COUNTRY | South Africa

CLASS | Challenger

The CPUT Solar Flyers team, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, is expanding their horizons and is amongst some of the first-time contenders in this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge.

The team is funded by the South African Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and consists of two mechatronics students, seven mechanical students, and a public relations and marketing student, who is one of the two females in the team.

The CPUT Solar Flyer will be steered by four drivers, of which one is the only woman on the team. The car name, Solar Flyer, is inspired by its tear-drop shaped body that resembles an aircraft with a wing. The shape is designed to reduce aerodynamic drag, and the tilting photovoltaic solar panels mounted above the body are vital in harnessing solar power with changing conditions during the event. The car has four hub motors mounted in the wheels, and a dynamite pack Life 04 battery.

The car body is made from carbon fibre, moulded to aluminium space frames made from a tubing covering. A poly-fibre process is a fitting option as it is used in the manufacturing of light aircraft, and provides a durable protective layer in severe operating conditions.

The team has encountered stumbling blocks in their expedition to the Sasol Solar Challenge, from attaining battery suppliers, and having to change the design of the wheel carriers and suspension.

However, with great tenacity, the team is optimistic and thrilled to be part of their very first Sasol Solar Challenge.