Spallumcheen’s RhinoKore Composite Solutions has announced a partnership with Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering in India for the 2017 Bridgestone Solar Challenge in Australia.
The event will run Oct. 8 to 15.
The challenge is a friendly, worldwide competition that pits some of the brightest young minds from international universities, technical institutes, and the private sector. The race itself begins in Darwin, travelling south, some 3,000 kilometres through the unforgiving Australian Outback, arriving in Adelaide five days later.
It’s all about energy management.
Based on the original notion that a 1,000-watt car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal five kilowatt hours of stored energy, which is 10 per cent of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.
These are arguably the most efficient electric vehicles in the world.
RVCE contacted RhinoKore in late 2016 requesting a possible collaboration, with RhinoKore providing the honeycomb panels to be used to form the body of the RVCE car, Soleblaze.
“We saw this as an amazing opportunity to support a dedicated group of engineering students,” said Greg Ringness, RhinoKore marketing manager.
“Even though they’re located on the other side of the planet, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to demonstrate to the world a mantra we repeat often here at RhinoKore…What will you build with a RhinoKore panel?
“If you haven’t considered the World Solar Challenge, check them out online (www.worldsolarchallenge.org). Nothing short of inspiring is how I describe what these ‘kids’ are able to accomplish through this competition.”
The panel specifications requested by RVCE (three, six, seven and eight millimetre thickness) presented a new challenge for the team at RhinoKore.
At the three millimetre thickness, they ventured into unchartered territories as this would represent the thinnest honeycomb panels produced in the companies 10-plus year history.
“The production team is happy to be contributing to the efforts of our new friends at RVCE,” said Gordon Varszegi, production supervisor at RhinoKore. “We were asked to produce a panel at three millimetres, and I’m pleased to say we nailed it. We wish the RVCE Team much success.”
In 1982, solar pioneers Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins, embarked on a quest that would see them drive a home-built solar car, Quiet Achiever, across Australia from west to east. Inspired by this achievement and his own pioneering vision, Hans urged others to explore the boundaries of sun-powered transport.
And so, the World Solar Challenge was born.
Inaugurated in 1987 with pioneer sponsor South Australian Tourism Commission, the World Solar Challenge continues to highlight the development of advanced automotive technology and promote alternatives to conventional vehicle engines.
Today, while solar cars test the ultimate boundaries of energy efficiency, they also provide incredible insights into the capabilities of everyday vehicle technology. These innovations are at the heart of all electric cars, whether that power comes from hydrogen fuel cells, hybrid engines or even fully-electric commuter cars that draw power from solar cells on the garage roof – they all use the technology that is continually honed to perfection in the World Solar Challenge.
The event is held every two years.