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Panasonic Sponsors Tokai University at South African Solar Challenge 2012- longest distance solar car race in the world


Panasonic announced its sponsorship of Tokai University’s solar car team competing at the South African Solar Challenge 2012 (SASC), the longest distance solar car race in the world, to be held from September 17 to 29, 2012. Panasonic’s energy solutions helped the Japanese university team to victory at the 2011 World Solar Challenge in Australia last year, when the company provided its HIT solar cells offering the world’s highest level of energy conversion rate as well as high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. By providing a combination of energy-creation and energy-storage solutions with its high-capacity lithium-ion batteries and HIT solar cells that boast the world’s highest level of energy conversion rate for any mass-produced solar cell, Panasonic will support the Tokai University students’ challenge in the solar car race that will be run under harsh weather conditions.


Panasonic HIT solar cells are hybrids of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. With high conversion efficiency, excellent temperature performance, and high energy output per unit area, the cells are ideal for obtaining maximum power within a limited space, such as the rooftops of private homes. HIT cells are also suited for solar cars competing in the SASC because its regulations limit the total area of solar cells installed on the car body.

The batteries Panasonic is providing are cylindrical 18650-type (18 mm diameter, 65 mm length) high-capacity lithium-ion battery cells having the company’s proprietary nickel-based positive electrode. They will be mounted in arrays within a storage battery module. Featuring the industry’s highest level of energy density, the battery cell is light, high capacity and long-lasting and enables making battery module lighter.

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