Tokai University’s solar car supported by Panasonic wins the longest distance solar car race in the world

Tokai University’s Solar Car Team, sponsored by Panasonic, won the Sasol Solar Challenge South Africa 2012 on September 28, 2012! Equipped with Panasonic’s top level HIT solar cell as well as high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, Tokai University’s solar car successfully completed the longest distance solar car race in the world held from September 18 to 28, 2012 in South Africa. Panasonic HIT solar cells are hybrids of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. With high energy conversion efficiency, excellent temperature performance, and high energy output per unit area, the cells are ideal for obtaining maximum power within a limited space. These greatly lift the performance of the solar car in the Sasol Solar Challenge where regulations limit the total area of solar cells that can be installed on the body.

The Sasol Solar Challenge is an epic two-week country-wide endurance challenge. What begins at South Africa’s administration capital, Pretoria; continues over a span of four days, all the way to Cape Town. Following a day’s rest, the teams travel to East London after passing through the southern coastal line of the country. They then return to Pretoria in 11 days.

This year, a total of fourteen teams from around the world challenged this harsh 4,800 km loop. However, not all the teams managed to complete 11-day journey across the country, covering some of the most demanding terrain South Africa has to offer.

The Sasol Solar Challenge South Africa shows people how advanced solar technology coupled with engineering innovations can contribute in eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. With the abundant sunlight in South Africa, Panasonic is able to make even greater use of renewable energy via its solar technology. This eco-efficiency challenge is an exciting competition aimed at educating people in the areas of science, green innovation and teamwork.

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