EXPLORE THE SASOL SOLAR CHALLENGE

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FAQ's

In addition to raising the profile of solar technology as a renewable resource and promoting the importance of STEM subjects in school, the Sasol Solar Challenge has also provided a platform for the Jumping Kids charity to promote the excellent work that it does in assisting young amputees. Jumping Kids engages with child amputees en-route and identifies suitable candidates for prosthesis fitment.

The Sasol Solar Challenge is open to school, university and private teams from South Africa and abroad. 2016 entries are currently closed.

Entries for the 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge are closed. To enquire about entering future challenges, please contact Annalie van Vuuren on +2712 349 2462 or email annalie@solarchallenge.org.za

The 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge will feature five separate classes of competition. The Olympia Class and Challenger Class are for newly built, four wheeler solar electric vehicles. The Adventure Class is reserved for pre-2016 event vehicles, typically three wheelers. The Cruiser Class is designed for practicality, and the Sustainability Fleet is designed to provide a forum to further demonstrate advanced technologies in personal transport opportunities. 

  • Olympia Class (FIA): As defined in the FIA Olympia Class Regulations.
  • Challenger Class: Solar vehicles are designed for efficiency. They carry a driver only. The winner of the Challenger Class will be the first Challenger Class solar vehicle to complete the course in accordance with the World Solar Challenge 2015 regulations.
  • Cruiser Class: Solar vehicles are designed for practicality. They must be designed to carry two or more occupants. They will be judged on external energy use, the time taken to complete the course, payload carried, distance driven and practicality. Solar vehicles that do not meet all requirements for Cruiser Class may be allowed to run in the Sustainability Fleet. The Cruiser Class solar vehicles can charge at certain stops, and are subject to World Solar Challenge 2015 regulations.
  • Adventure Class: Allows a team to run a solar vehicle that has met the requirements of a previous recognised event, but does not comply with the requirements of the Challenger Class. Adventure Class vehicles must meet the safety requirements of this event.
  • Sustainability Fleet: A forum for displaying vehicles that have been designed, equipped or modified to demonstrate a significant reduction in the environmental impact of their operation. These may be practical or concept vehicles that meet road authority requirements for individually constructed vehicles, but not the requirements of the solar vehicle classes. The organiser will determine the eligibility of any vehicle submitted for the Sustainability Fleet. Sustainability Fleet vehicles must comply with the same regulations as Cruiser Class solar vehicles, with the following exceptions:
    • Energy sources are not restricted
    • Energy storage capacity is not restricted
    • The energy storage system does not have to be removable from the vehicle
    • Vehicles that are roadworthy (with a license valid for road use in South Africa) do not need to have lead and chase vehicles
    • Sustainability Fleet entrants may apply to the organiser for further exemptions

Daily accommodation is available to all teams during the event, and will typically be camping space with facilities. Teams are responsible for their own breakfast and lunch arrangements, and lunch can be purchased at control stops. The organisers aim to supply dinner at all overnight stops. If no dinner arrangements are made, teams will be notified well in advance. Accommodation will be supplied up to one day after the event.

The Award Ceremony is free of charge for all team members. An additional fee will apply for sponsors and family members. The ceremony takes place on Sunday 2 October at The Lookout, V&A Waterfront, from 11:00 to 14:00.  

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly via photovoltaic (PV) cells, or indirectly via concentrated solar power (CSP) systems. The solar technology used in the Sasol Solar Challenge is PV. 

In a PV cell, the sunlight puts electrons in movement to directly produce electricity.  The main component of the PV cell is the semiconductor. The electrons in the semiconductor are charged by sunlight and move to their corresponding electrode – producing an electrical current. CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam that heats up molten salt to create steam to drive a turbine that produces electrical power. 

Solar power is clean and renewable, and rapid advances in technology are driving down costs too.