Friday, August 25, 2017

WSC 2017 Update: August 24th

Sometime around Wednesday we lost another team off the official teams list; it's down to 43 total. Siam Tech's Challenger class team - #29 Edison - has been removed.

It's been another pretty quiet week. A few teams shipped their cars (Michigan, Nuon, Punch, Eindhoven, and Apollo), and NWU unveiled Naledi. Next week will be a busy one for unveilings: JU on the 28th; Adelaide University, WSU, and Tokai(!) all on the 29th.

Tokai is the last of the top-5 from 2015 to unveil, and I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be a silicon-array asymmetric catamaran. That's what most of the field is doing, but 3/4 of 2015's top-5 unveiled so far chose to do something different.

After next week, we'll be left with a very short list of Challenger teams not yet unveiled; 4 teams out of 28: Antakari, CUER, UiTM, ANU. Only UiTM has a scheduled unveiling.
  • Antakari is visibly making a lot of progress, frequently posting to their FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.
  • CUER - Pretty much dead silent, which is worrying. 
  • UiTM - Not a lot of visible progress, but not a lot of social media in general, historically. Some progress visible in the print version of this news article. They're planning to unveil on September 5th.
  • ANU - They're in Australia already, so they have some breathing room that other teams don't.
On the Cruiser side, we see a much higher proportion of teams not unveiled; 6 teams out of 15: Flinders, Tehran, Arrow, Cairo, TAFE SA, and Sunswift
  • Four of the six (Flinders, TAFE SA, Arrow, Sunswift) are Australian teams with less schedule pressure - no trans-oceanic shipping to deal with. Flinders reportedly has their unveiling scheduled for September 11th, and a Sunswift team member has told me that Violet will be launched on September 14th.
  • Tehran is making a lot of visible progress.
  • Cairo is a big ol' question mark - zero photos of progress.

WSC posted this neat little video with clips from the first 1987 World Solar Challenge. I'd love to see a longer version!

Challenger Class

2: University of Michigan

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Michigan unveiled Novum on July 7th, and shipped it out to Australia on August 18th.

Here's an article the school posted about shipping the car.

3: Nuon

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Nuon unveiled Nuna 9 on July 25th, and shipped it out to Australia on August 23rd.

Both the car and trophy are on their way down under.

4: Antakari

Not too many updates this week - mainly a shot of their completed front suspension. Note the wheel and tire, the chassis should be rolling now...

7: Adelaide University

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team has announced that Lumen II will be unveiled on August 29th.

The team has been busy this past week installing the solar array.

8: Punch Powertrain

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Punch unveiled Punch Two on June 21st, and shipped it out to Australia on August 23rd.

No news other news this week.

10: Tokai

Status: Unveiling scheduled. Tokai finally announced that the 2017 Tokai Challenger will be unveiled on August 29th.

No news other news this week.

12: Cambridge University

CUER continues their streak of zero updates on the state of the car.

I'd wonder if they were just being secretive and planning on surprising everyone with something radically new, but their WSC team page tells us straight-up that their car is just going to be a refinement of their 2013/2015 concept. I'm honestly kinda worried about this team - a workshop photo or two takes literally seconds to post to the internet, and they had a very robust social media presence in 2015.

 Folks, your crowdfunding is usually more successful when people can see that their money is actually going to go towards something... And as ScientificGems points out, a solar car team's value to sponsors is higher when the team showcases their sponsors early and often!

15: WSU

Status: Unveiling scheduled. WSU announced an official unveiling date: August 29th.

The team has a 5th episode of Grill the Grid this week. All kidding aside, I'll forgive Mario for forgetting about Race the Sun . It is a terrible movie, and best watched drunk.

16: Stanford

Status: Unveiled! Stanford unveiled Sundae on July 1st.

The team wrote a short blog post about their Central Valley testing. It looks like they were testing again over the weekend.

18: UiTM EcoPhoton

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team said in a Facebook comment that they'll be unveiling the car on September 5th. Although it's not unusual to see Australian teams unveiling that late, it seems super late for a team that has to deal with trans-continental shipping and international customs.

No news this week, but they're showing off their old car Stingray at an event this week. Those windows haven't aged well...

20: Durham

Status: Shipped! Durham shipped their car to Australia on July 18th.

No news this week.

21: Twente

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Twente unveiled Red Shift on June 23rd, and shipped it to Australia on August 16th.

Just after our post last week, Twente posted that the car had made it through Kuala Lumpur on the way to Sydney.

The team has made a blog post about their telemetry and data acquisition setup.

22: MDH

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled way back on May 31st.

No news this week.

25: Nagoya Institute of Technology

Status: Unveiled, and shipped! Horizon 17 was shown testing at Bridgestone's test track on July 15th, and was formally unveiled on August 6th. The car shipped to Australia on August 9th.

No news this week.

28: Neul-Hae-Rang

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Woong-bi on June 25th.

No news this week.

29: Siam Tech (Edison)

Status: Removed from team list - Withdrawn? Edison was unveiled without solar cells on August 14th, and was spotted with solar cells around the 22nd. But Siam Tech's #29 Challenger team was missing from the team list on the 23rd of August.

(image source)

The team posted several videos to Facebook, showing the interior (featuring a lot of cameras...), a road test, and a test at a local airstrip. The team also posted a blog about the airport testing. They posted another test drive video just hours ago!

I've heard through the grapevine that the team withdrew their Challenger car, but I can't find any explanation on their social media at the moment.

32: Principia

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Principia showed off Ra X for the first time at Formula Sun in Texas, July 3-8. The team shipped the car to Australia on August 1st.

No news this week.

34: RVCE

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Arka on August 5th.

No news this week.

37: Goko High School

Status: Car Complete! We've seen several photos of the completed car.

No news this week.

38: North-West University

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Naledi on August 22nd.

(image source)

There's a pretty good walk-around video of the car on their Facebook. The little slider on the left side of the canopy for the driver to pass things in and out is an interesting detail... I'm very curious to see the array actually tilt!

43: Australia National University

No news this week.

46: Jonkoping University

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team has announced that Solveig will be unveiled on August 28th.

No news this week.

70: Sonnenwagen Aachen

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Huawei Sonnenwagen on July 20th.

On Friday, the team held some sort of second unveiling event/sendoff event. The full recording of the presentation can be seen here on their Facebook.

They haven't shipped yet, though - they're out doing some track testing with Bochum.

(image source)

Should be a good drone shot, I want to see it!

71: Istanbul Technical University

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled B.O.W İSTKA on August 9th.

The team is doing some road testing right now.

I've driven a solar car in the rain, and I've driven one at night, but never in the rain at night.

77: Blue Sky

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Polaris on August 14th.

No news this week.

82: Kookmin University

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Kookmin unveiled Taegeuk on July 7th, and shipped their car to Australia at the end of July.

No news this week.

88: Kogakuin University

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Kogakuin unveiled Wing on June 29th, and shipped the car to Adelaide on July 31st.

The team posted a photo where we can see the reflective coating on the underside of the wing.

Cruiser Class

5: SunSPEC

Status: Unveiled! Singapore Polytechnic unveiled SunSPEC 5 on July 21st.

At the very end of last week, the team posted a pretty neat drone video of testing the car.

9: PrISUm

Status: Unveiled! Iowa State unveiled Penumbra on June 2nd.

It looks like the team is going to be using a big crate on a flatbed at WSC, similar to how Nuon has done it in the past. The car is scheduled to ship on September 1st.

11: Hochschule Bochum

Status: Unveiled! Bochum unveiled Blue.Cruiser on July 5th.

The team posted a small blog post about the track testing they did with Sonnenwagen Aachen.

In one of the photos, you can see more of the rear wheel fairings that the team was testing in the wind tunnel a few weeks ago:

(image source)

14: Flinders

Status: Unveiling scheduled? Someone on Twitter (a team member?) claims that the car will be unveiled/launched on September 11th.

The team posted a small teaser image of body panels being fitted,  as well as a large spread of suspension components.

23: University of Tehran

Some more Instagram updates this week -  complete-looking battery pack, and a much more complete looking car body. A translation of the second post reveals that it is designed to seat 4 people.

30: Team Arrow

Some very small updates this week - a post on Instagram about software development, and a Twitter post with a photo of the current progress on the car. Looks like the chassis is sitting on wheels and tires; ready to roll!

33: Cairo University

No news this week.

I can't find a single photo of progress on the car, other than this chassis mockup from 3 months ago. I would not be surprised if they don't make it to the event.

35: IVE Sophie

Status: Unveiled! IVE unveiled Sophie VI on July 1st.

The team is doing their final tests before shipping the car.

40: Eindhoven

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Eindhoven unveiled Stella Vie on June 21st, and shipped it to Australia on August 19th.

At least some of the team is currently in Australiadriving north along the race route in reverse. The team received their road legal registration and license plate before departure.


No news this week.

45: Lodz

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Lodz unveiled Eagle Two on July 14th, and shipped to Australia on July 17th.

The team posted a location update - the ship that their car is on is currently in the Red Sea

49: Siam Tech (Nikola)

Status: Unveiled! The team held a joint unveiling event for both Edison (Challenger) and Nikola (Cruiser) on August 14th.

The team haws been testing Nikola at a local airport.

75: UNSW Sunswift

Status: Unveiling scheduled. We've been told by a team member that the unveiling is scheduled for the morning of September 14th.

The team made a Facebook post with some some very small glimpses of the car herehere, and here.

94: University of Minnesota

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Minnesota unveiled Eos II on July 11th, and shipped it out to Australia over the last weekend in July.

The team made a small post of Facebook about their custom motors.

95: Apollo

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! KUAS unveiled Apollo VIII on June 29th, and shipped it to Adelaide on August 23rd.

No other news this week.

Adventure Class

52: Illini Solar Car

Status: Shipped! The team shipped Argo out to Australia at the start of August.

No news this week.

53: Mississippi Choctaw High School

No news this week.


  1. EcoPhoton say in the comments to this FB post that they will unveil on Sept 5.