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, expanded their horizons and were amongst some of the first-time contenders in the 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge.

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

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

The car body was made from carbon fibre, moulded to aluminium space frames made from a tubing covering. A poly-fibre process was 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 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 was optimistic and thrilled to be part of their very first Sasol Solar Challenge. 

Newcomers from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology demonstrated the spirit of never giving up, working tirelessly throughout all eight days to troubleshoot challenges with their car.  After persevering with their car until the very last, CPUT managed 19.2 kilometers.