back to article So you want to be a solar racer? You'll need a laptop and some string

On Sunday, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincupp and Craig Lowndes stood on the podium after Australia's epic Bathurst 1000 race and waxed lyrical about the importance of their teams, and well they might: nobody driving against any kind of competition, whether race or challenge, goes far without their team. Out on the road, at the …


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  1. IHateWearingATie

    *start meerkat impression voice*


  2. Arachnoid

    Fossil fuel vehicle

    Get in car,check fuel tank,drive............hmm quite a different approach still to be overcome before it becomes mainstream.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Fossil fuel vehicle

      Erm, not exactly the right comparison though is it?

      Think of the amount of equipment and technology Formula 1 teams use to make sure their cars have exactly the right amount of fuel they anticipate to need for the race and instructing their drivers to turn their engine settings up (more power) or down (less consumption) so they can squeeze the maximum possible performance out of a given amount of fuel and/or to minimise fuel weight carried to increase speed etc etc

      In a "real-life" battery car, "Get in car,check battery,drive" is already what you do, and a "real-life" solar car will be just a normal e-car with solar panels on the roof that can have it's batteries topped up from the mains.

  3. an it guy

    so a solar challenge...

    ... uses lots more fuel than we might expect? Seems a little counter intuitive. There I was thinking that the pickup truck had another huge array of solar panels to charge a set of batteries that could be swapped over at the end of the day*

    Just seems a bit odd

    * No idea on the actual rules/practicality about battery swapping

  4. david 12 Bronze badge

    module maker Alain Chuzel of SunCat

    He is a /SOLAR MODULE/ maker, and he told you that /SOLAR MODULE VOLTAGE/ drops off as the /SOLAR MODULES/ get hot. That's why they have a reference SOLAR MODULE on top of the support car. I hope that was an error of an over-enthusiastic editor.

    He may also have said something about the Battery Temperature, which you also should monitor. Perhaps the author became confused by that.

  5. notowenwilson

    Safety first

    I'd hate to see the result of that laptop being launched into the face of the passenger when the airbag goes off.

    And I'm pretty sure that fan only exists to cool the compressor that it's strapped to.

  6. itzman

    So basically

    You can have a solar powered car as long as you burn up oodles of fossil fuel charging it up at night and keeping all the equipment needed to make sure it works, working.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fail failure

      Not necessarily. That's like watching a F1 or NASCAR race and concluding you can have an internal-combustion engine based car as long as you have a trailer full of new tires, are ready to refill the fuel tank every 10 minutes, and have a team of 6+ people to make sure it all works.

      Yes, electric vehicles have limitations. This article is about a solar *race*, not about a demonstration of some liberal greenie tree-hugging utopian daily transit vision.

  7. Arachnoid

    Glad thats been explained

    Now it would be interesting to know how much fossil fuel was burnt in support of these green electric vehicles.

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