Thursday, July 6, 2017

WSC 2017 Update: July 6th

This is going to be a really brief update because I'm really busy, but the teams list has been released! Here's a reeeaally quick rundown of the teams, with some short notes on some of them:

Challenger Class

2: University of Michigan: Novum

Michigan is unveiling their car tomorrow! I've heard through the grapevine that Michigan is using a 2.64sqm multijunction gallium-arsenide solar array, rather than the 4sqm silicon array most teams are using. 

2011-2015, very few teams tried a GaAs array, as teams were only allowed 3sqm of it, vs 6sqm of Silicon. Since WSC is allowing (proportionally) more GaAs this year, it's a much more attractive option - and I'm a little surprised that I haven't seen more cars trying it.

Expect Novum to look quite different than the rest of the field.

3: Nuon: Nuna9

Nuon has hinted that they may have made some big changes to the layout of the car. I wonder if they are doing a GaAs array, like Michigan?

4: Antakari: Intikallpa IV

6: MIT: Flux

7: Adelaide University: Lumen II

8: Punch Powetrain: Punch Two

10: Tokai University: Tokai Challenger (2017)

Name your car something new please, at least put a number behind it! This is at least the 5th "Tokai Challenger".

12: Cambridge University Eco Racing: (no car name provided)

CUER is fielding a little bullet car again, just like in 2013 and 2015. They're also going to be trying a tracking array again, like the 2013 car (but unlike 2015). As described above in the Michigan section, since the proportion of allowed GaAs to Silicon has gone up significantly for 2017, CUER's concept may have a chance of being actually competitive this year - although CUER will need to make sure the car is reliable enough to finish the race. They only managed to finish 2/3rds of it last time around...

13: Polytech Solar: SOL

This is a new team from Russia - we've written a little about them before.

15: Western Sydney University: (no car name provided)

Initially, there was a rendering of WSU's car on the teams list, but that has been removed. I guess it wasn't supposed to be released yet, whoops! It was an asymmetric catamaran, with a very thin array airfoil that was overhanging the fairings by a very long distance forward.

16: Stanford: Sundae

18: UiTM Eco Photon: TUAH

20: Durham: DUSC

21: Twente: RED Shift

22: MDH Solar Team: MDH Solar Car

This can't be the real name of their car, right?

23: University of Tehran: Persian Gazelle IV

25: NIT: Horizon ZZ

26: Missouri S&T: Solar Miner

As far as I know, this team withdrew from WSC 2017 two weeks ago and their WSC team profile contains no information, so I'm not sure why WSC included them on the teams list.

28: Neul-Hae-Rang: Woong-bi

This is a brand new team from the Korea National University of Transportation

29: STC-2 Edison: Edison

This is the Challenger entry from Siam Tech

32: Principia College: Ra X

33: Cairo University: Horus

This is a new team from Egypt. They're listed as a Challenger class, but the car rendering on the WSC teams page sure looks like a 2-seat Cruiser class car...

34: RVCE: Arka

37: Goko High School: Musoushin (2017)

I really don't understand why Japanese teams insist on giving the car the same name every year. How are you supposed to distinguish between them when talking??? Also, from their WSC team profile:

"What is unique about your solar car? We brought out the flavor of the materials." I hope this is literally what they wanted to say rather than a translation error, because that's an amazing answer.

"What is the one thing your team is looking forward to when you visit Australia? We are looking forward to eat a big steak at everynight!" A team after my own heart.

38: NWU: Naledi

The rendering on the teams page shows a narrow bullet car with outrigger wheels and a small "wing" solar array aft of the driver compartment. It looks very early-90s-solar-car - a style of solar car design that faded away rapidly as it became apparent that more-integrated designs were superior. We'll see if this is a good design strategy with the benefit of modern materials and the new smaller arrays.

Party like it's 1987!
(image source)

39: Estidamah: (no car name provided)

This is a new team from Saudi Arabia, with zero information on their team page on the WSC website. Twitter here:

43: Sol Invictus: Sol Invictus

This is a new team from the Australia National University

46: JU Solar Team: Solveig

70: Team Sonnenwagen Aachen: HUAWEI Sonnenwagen

I guess selling the naming rights to the car is one way to raise money, but... ugh.


72: Proton: Noor

This is a new team from Sudan. Facebook here:

77: Blue Sky: Back in Azure

I'm a little confused by the listed car name. The team's 2011 WSC car was named Azure, are they bringing an old car back???

82: KUST: Baek Ho2

88: Kogakuin: Wing

Cruiser Class

5: SunSPEC: SunSPEC5

9: PrISUm: Penumbra

11: HS Bochum: Thyssenkrupp Blue.Cruiser

14: Flinders: Investigator Mk III

23: University of Tehran: Persian Gazelle IV

30: Clenergy Team Arrow: (no car name provided)

35: IVE: Sophie VI

40: Eindhoven: Stella Vie

It's not exactly news about the car, but a great article about how solar cells work was recently published by someone associated with the team.


45: Lodz: Eagle Two

49: STC-2 Nikola: Nikola

This is the Cruiser entry from Siam Tech.

66: Creatti Solar Car Team: CrossVan

This is a new team from Columbia. Facebook here:

75: UNSW Sunswift: Violet

94: University of Minnesota: Eos II

95: Apollo: Apollo VIII

Adventure Class

51: Illini Solar Car: Argo

This is a new team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, they're also aiming to enter ASC with this car in 2018.

53: Mississippi Choctaw High School: Tushka Hashi III

Missing Teams

The following WSC 2015 teams won't be returning:

  • Challenger teams: EAFIT, UKZN, Solaris, MegaLux, Anadolu, KIT, and Bejing.
  • Cruiser Teams: ITS and Ardingly.
Some of these I already knew about and others I sort of expected, but MegaLux is a bit of an unwelcome surprise - they did great for a rookie team in 2015 and I had high hopes for them this year :(

Also missing from the list is Onda Solare, which has attended WSC in the past and was rumored to be entering the Cruiser class this year.


  1. Michigan also considered a bullet car in 2015, but opted against it. This year seems like the ideal time to make that change.

    I suspect BWSC included Missouri S&T on the list just so they could claim "a record 50 teams" are participating. Of course they don't mention that over 50 teams showed up in 1993.

    1. And we're down to 47 after only a week. I think they padded their list a little ;)

  2. Seems unfair to criticize Team Sonnenwagen Aachen for the solarcar name "Huawei Sonnenwagen" in comparision to "Punch Powertrain Solar Team", "Nuon Solar Car", the "Thyssenkrupp Blue.Cruiser", .... you can complete that list if you have the time ;)