Students from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have built a solar powered car which will take part in the third South African Solar Challenge from September 18 to 29.Named Photon, this solar car is built in conjunction with Volkswagen SA and many other sponsors and it took about 18 months to complete this vehicle. This five meter UFO like shaped solar car which is estimated to have cost about R2m was unveiled at NMMU on Monday.
The power comes from 6m² of monocrystaline silicon panels which are custom built and are installed on the top of car. All of the energy is stored in a battery pack of lithium-ion cells which provides enough supply of power to the vehicle even when there is no sunlight or in a tunnel or during bad weather conditions.
The two week 5500km race will start in Pretoria where the Photon solar car will compete against international teams from various countries such as Netherlands and Japan.