|The cars reach Adelaide after the 3022 km ride from Darwin.|
Teams from the Netherlands came away with the three main prizes.
The CSIRO Innovation PrizeThe University of Twente was awarded the CSIRO innovation prize. Dr Glen Platt, Energy Research Director at CSIRO Judge said "It is customary that the scientific faculty recognise and honour new ways of doing things. In the trip down from Darwin our team was able to observe many cars with superb engineering and design. It ranged from carbon fibre bodywork to wiring and layout of the car itself. We also saw breakthrough innovation. It ranged from a Coke-bottle evaporative cooling system, to solar-driven route planners, coupling real-time weather information so as to make maximum of use of every ray of sun. I hope we can encourage more of these kinds of developments in the years to come. But one team combined what we thought was great novelty with fantastic execution. The 2015 World Solar Challenge Innovation prize goes to the University of Twente for its solar array balancing interface - maximum power point tracking system."
During the rest-point moments during the race, the "Red One" car team orientates the car so the solar panels are exactly at right angles to the sun. In previous years, Twente removed the solar panels, placing them on an adjustable portable stand next to the vehicle. This year the rules have changed so that the panels and the chassis had to remain connected. So they devised an adjustable mirror to ensure the maximum sunlight capture reaches the solar arrays.
The Cruiser Class
|Solar Team Eindhoven at the final inspection round|
James Harris, the lead recruiter of Tesla Motors came on stage to announce the winner. It was Eindhoven Technical University's team with their family car Stella Lux. They completed the 3022 km in a little over 39 hours. They clocked 3044 passenger kilometres and a practicality score of 84.5%. That gave an overall mark of 97.3%!
|The Cruiser Class Winners|
|Judging the cruiser class|
"I am so glad we accepted the most difficult challenge and went for the next generation solar family car. This time, we've focussed our efforts on improving the safety, comfort and interior design of Stella Lux. We beat all our previous records this week - the range is now 1500 km for Stella Lux on a single charge. That's thanks to onboard smart technology which tracks both wind and sunshine and gives us the real-time range. That helps build a driving strategy."
Challenger Class Winners
The first and second prizes for the Challenger class went to Delft (Nuon) and University of Twente respectively. In fact for the first three days Twente was leading Delft by several minutes. But they had to slow down to avoid some unsafe conditions, and Delft then took the lead. But it is also important to note that Twente improved on their 2013 racing time by almost four hours! So everyone is getting a lot faster.
It was also fitting that in their acceptance speech, Delft honoured the memory of the late Dutch astronaut and physicist Wubbo Ockels, who did so much to promote the global search for technologies to save the environment. "Remember we only have one planet. There is no spare." That's why this rapid shift to renewable energy sources like solar is so important.