A Different Kind of Racing

Most races exist to provide employment for racers and promoters and to boost sales for companies that sponsor the cars and drivers. They also serve as a competitive event that gathers huge crowds from around the world. The Sun Racing championshipis a bit different. It is a race with a humanitarian goal.

A Race with a Message

Sun Racing in Australia isn’t just about driving cars on a track and seeing who can reach the finish line faster. There is that part to it, and that is part of what draws the crowds to the event. But the cars and the venue all serve a greater purpose, and that is to increase awareness about solar energy and to create viable ways to use solarenergy in our daily lives.

The event’s name is quite literal, as each car is powered entirely by solar energy. No gas or other fuel source is used- it’s just rows of photovoltaic cells creating electrical energy directly from the sun. Each car is an innovation unto itself, designed by some of the brightest minds at Australia’s universities. In fact, most of the racers and car makers are students and faculty as the many universities fromaround Australia.

A Springboard for innovation

Many industries could benefit fromsolar powered ingenuity, but vehicles seem like one of the most obvious choices. For one, they use up a lot of fuels that are becomingscarcer and scarcer. For another, they are constantly out on the road, exposed to sunlight, making them perfect candidates for receiving solar power.

And many of the designs thought up for the Sun racing event are actually being considered by car manufacturers. This event is visited by someof the creative heads that work at major car companiesaround the world. They are looking at the innovative designs and buying some of them up for their own companies.

images1This is a great example of many people working together for a common goal. And the results have been quite amazing. As with any project, the more people working together, the faster it can go. For something like bathroom renovations, having a lot of hands helping with the work can make it speed by quickly. When you have a lot of skilled laborers tearing down walls and tiling the floors together, the work goes much quicker. Sun Racing and the innovations it is bringing about to the automobile industry is more like many bathroom renovators working on separate jobs, then coming to check up on each other and learn from one another.

The automobile industry is learning from the car inventors at Sun Racing. And those competitors are learning what the automobile industry is looking for. Even recently, the event unveiled a new class of cars that more closely resembles vehicles that would be used on the roads today. It is just another step closer to bringing solar power to the cars we drive and making the environment cleaner for everyone.

 

Imagine the Future of Automobiles

If you take a moment to think about where automobiles might be a few decades, you might come up with some astounding ideas. But there are people already imaging those cars right now. They are working hard to make the future of the automobile a reality over at the Sun Racing event.

Their ideas are starting with solar power. The goal of the event is to create vehicles that operate solely on solar power and race them. These vehicles are intended to become prototypes for future cars that people might use in everyday life.

Maybe solar power is not where most people imagine the future of the automobile to be headed. You might have thought about a car that vacuums itself. You would never have to run a vacuum cleaners across the carpets because it removes the dirt on its own.

Or perhaps you imagined a car that drives itself. This is already possible to some extent, as we have seen with Google’s self-driving car. But the future might hold further innovations that allow people to program the cars they drive every day to take them where they need to go without user input.

images1But for now, the future seems to shining particularly bright for solar-powered vehicles. What is being accomplished at Sun Racing is something remarkable. As fuel prices rise, people are going to start to want something else to run their cars on.

We could be driving cars that run on solar power sooner than we think. Some of the vehicles crafted for the championship races have already been commissioned by car manufacturers. They are looking toward the future for cars that will run without the need for gas. These cars have not been invented and mass produced yet, but it looks like they could become a reality very soon.

Is the Future of the Automobile at Sun Racing?

Some of the most innovative techniques in crafting automobiles are not happening at car manufacturers. They are taking place at a competitive racing event known as Sun Racing in Australia.

This annual event challenges colleges to create cars that run entirely on solar power. These are not your typical cars, and this is not your typical race. You see, part of the reason the race takes place is to give people entertainment. But the idea behind this event was to fund and promote the concepts of solar energy as a source of power for automobiles.

Australia has long backed solar power as a means of alternative energy. Much of the country is perfect for solar power usages, due to its climate and terrain. So it makes sense that the solar-powered future of automobiles would be taking place there as well.

Car manufacturers are taking notice of the innovations created by Sun competitors. They see their ingenious designs and are already working on prototypes that incorporate some of those ideas. In a few decades, or perhaps a few years, we could be seeing solar-powered cars as a common sight on the roads.

images1We will likely see these cars first adapted by service industries and fleet vehicles. Take chauffeured cars, for example. It would be easier to convert an entire line of a company’s chauffeur cars into solar power than it would for car manufacturers to create a commercial vehicle in mass quantities. The testing phase of these new vehicles will probably start in service industries, where companies can have fleet vehicles made at a lower price just so the car manufacturers can have their prototypes properly tested.

The Sun racing event has even opened up its competition to cars that more closely resemble the kinds of cars you would see on the road. They race in their own class, and they are part of an initiative to help make the transition from prototype racing vehicle to everyday street car.

Benefits from the Sun Race

Most people would not expect for a racing championship to provide much benefit to anyone beyond those involved in the race. But the Sun Racing championship is a bit different from any other kind of race.

For starters, it is raced entirely by cars powered through solar energy. Where other racing championships use combustion engines, the Sun race uses exclusively solar-powered vehicles. And this is a racing event that is proving to have some far-reaching benefits.

Changing the Face of Power in Australia

The advances that are being discovered through solar racing are helping to benefit the way power is created in Australia. Some of the power systems use to propel the cars during the racing championship are being transferred to the kinds of vehicles people use every day. And as researchers attempt to find ways to make their solar-power cars more efficient and faster, they are adding to the understanding of solar power.

Their efforts are directly affecting the advancement of solar power in the region and around the world. Australia is already a leader in alternative sources of energy, and the Sun racing event is improving their status in that regard.

Far-Reaching Implications

These solar power advancements mean a lot to the Australian community. The government sponsors and promotes solar energy among its businesses and private citizens. The Sun racing event is even partially funded by the government to help improve solar technology.

images1In a few decades, or even a few years, solar energy could replace or greatly substitute for fossil fuels. The steady trend to increased solar power is already boosting a number of different industries.

Silicon manufacturing has greatly increased since solar power became a mainstay of the country. And tree service companies are finding increased business as companies and homeowners require land cleared for their solar generators and panel arrays. The tree services are also being used to clear potentially dangerous trees and branches away from solar panels.

As energy consumption and production changes in Australia, so too will the industries of Australia. And all this is partly because of the success of the Sun racing event.

 

Preparing for the Sun Race

The Sun racing championship is one of the more unique competitive events that Australia hosts. Each year drivers and cars from competing universities battle it out for a top spot using only solar-powered cars.

And as the day for the big race draws closer, those racers are prepping themselves for the event.

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The Driver Prepares

Since the cars are using modified engines and fuel sources, theyhave to have some heavy apparatus to make it all work. Drivers are looking to do everything they can to lighten their load and speedup the car, includinglightenthemselves. Some of them may be using Garcinia, a weight loss supplement so powerful thatit can help user lose a pound every week. But Garcinia alone won’tgive themthe edge the drivers need to compete.

They will also be practicing in a number of trial races. Day in and day out for weeks before the competition, the drivers will be making sure they can still make quick manoeuvres and instinctual decisions. They don’t want their nerves to give just because they sat out training whilethe other drivers were preparing.

Making the Vehicle Ready

Each year, the cars undergo some major changes. From race to race, the same cars may not look anything like they did before. That’s partly because the science behind solar power is constantly evolving. Researchers are always finding new and innovative ways to use solar power. They are also discovering methods of making solar generationand collection more compact and less expensive.

This definitely has an effect on the cars being raced in the Sun championship. They have to be modified to ensure that they are keeping up with allthe latest advances in solar technology. For many of these cars that means a major overhaul is expected occur between each race, as the mechanics work to make the solar setup more efficient and more compact.

Examining the Sun Racing Championship

For over twenty years the World Solar Championship has taken Sun racing and made it onto an event Australians really get behind. This event takes competitors from colleges, universities and even high schools and pits them against each other in sun-powered cars.

The Australians have always had room in their country for solar innovation. The government even backs solar power in business and residential properties. It incentivizes its citizens by paying them for a portion of the solar power system costs. This is its way to promoting clean energy and ensuring renewable owner supply for its people.

The race is a similar event in some ways. It promotes clean energy and makes it appealing to a larger crowd.  Each of the vehicles is a unique take on solar power. And that part of the purpose of the race- not just to compete, but to promote the research of this type of vehicle.

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On Australia’s efforts to make clean energy practical and available to everyone, they use the race as a means to power research on solar-driven cars. The government seems to understand that fossil fuels are finite, and once they run out, people will start to looking to solar power research. But by then it will be too late for many car companies. So the government is giving them a head start on the end of fossil fuels.

By putting in the research and making sure these alternatives are available, it is allowing car manufactures to head off the crash of the auto market when the fuels get low. With sustainable energy, the cars can run indefinitely, with only minor maintenance and repairs required to keep them running.

It’s a very forward thinking plan, but one that the government has been backing for decades. Solar power is not all about saving the citizens from having to walk in the near future. It is also a popular sport that draws a huge crowd every year. The drivers train extensively to make sure they are up to the challenge, and winning is a major coup for the schools that manage it.

Australia Leads the Way in Solar Power

For the past decade or so, Australia has been at the forefront of solar power innovation. We’ve seen it in the way the government pays its citizens for adopting solar power. And we’ve seen in in the innovative racing championship Sun racing, or the World Solar Challenge.

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Incentivising Citizens

Australia makes a big deal out of solar power. It realizes that gas and coal resources are limited, whereas solar power is not. And by using solar power, the people of Australia are being environmentally friendly, conserving their resources and saving money in the process.

The Australian government makes these practices more alluring by incentivizing sales of solar-powered equipment. For example, those who switch some or all of their home’s energy consumption to solar power receive government credits or rebates that increase with the size and output of their system. And those whose solar power is connected to the community power lines, who generate energy for everyone, receive even more rewards.

It’s a great way to make solar power appealing to people who might not normally try it.

Making Solar Power Trendy

The Sun racing event is one that capitalizes on the Australians’ love of high speed sports. This one-of-a-kind event is massively promoted, and it involves cars run only on solar power. For the first time, a world racing event can actually be beneficial for the environment.

It is events such as these that make solar power something that so many people in Australia are trying out. Many have converted their garage doors to operate on solar power. They’re getting rid of the electrical power that operates their garage doors and other modern conveniences and replacing them with solar powered equivalents.

It is a trend that only seems to be increasing, as more and more Australians are turning to solar power for cheap, efficient energy that saves them money over the long run.  By making solar power attainable and affordable for everyone, Australia is certainly leading the way in green energy solutions.