WITS Solar Car Team
The WITS Solar Car team is based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. The team is made up of undergraduate students from the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering, as well as few students from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. The team is managed by Kamil Midor (visiting lecturer). The team’s first solar car was entered in the 2012 edition of the SASOL Solar Challenge. In 2013 a new team was formed to enter the race for the second time with a new solar powered car. The new solar car for the 2014 edition of the SASOL Solar Challenge will comply with the latest FIA Olympia Class Solar Car regulations. The new solar car will accommodate one driver. It will be 4.5 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 1.2 meters high and have four wheels as required by the regulations.
The photovoltaic collector will be composed of 30 mono-crystalline silicon solar panels. Each panel is capable of delivering 40 watts of electric power during midday with a photovoltaic efficiency of 22%. In total a maximum of 1200 watts could be collected from the sun. The drive system will operate on 72V and be composed of a single brushless hub motor that will be able to deliver 3 kW of power. The car will feature a futuristic LCD “glass cockpit” display for the driver. The philosophy of the WITS team is to build as much of the car in-house as possible.
This allows the students to not only undertake CAD design, but also to learn how to fabricate, test and optimise the system. The primary emphasis is placed on safety, weight and efficiency. The team is aiming to cover a distance of about 4000 km during the eight day event at the end of September 2014