Team name: Near East University (NEU) Solar Car Team
Car name: Ra27
Country: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The NEU solar team is unique among competitors. Unlike most teams, the 14-member team that built the Ra27 are actually part of a robotics laboratory at their university, and don’t specialize in automobiles or renewable energy.
In 2014, the team competed for the first time with Ra25, a solar car that won the adventure class in the Sasol Solar Challenge. This year they are back with Ra27 – an entirely new vehicle competing in a new class.
The car is called the Ra27 – after ‘Ra’ the sun god and their university’s 27 year anniversary.
Unlike it predecessor, Ra27 has four wheels instead of three. The carbon chassis makes it ultra-light, and two NEU team members were sent to London for a course on carbon fibre in order to acquire the skills to build this new frame. The car is also now 24% more efficient. 3D printing was used for some internal parts, and the car was launched and celebrated at the recent national Republic Day parade in Nicosia to celebrate the team.
Follow the robotics team’s journey in South Africa on their Facebook page, here.