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Team Sets Sights on Solar Car Distance Record

Preliminary route map for the Power of One distance run.

A multinational team (primarily Canadian and Brazilian) is targeting a world distance record in a solar-powered electric vehicle.

The Power of One (xof1) project is planning a 22,900-kilometer (14,230-mile) run, mainly through Canada. The tour would start in Toronto, then head east to St.John’s (Atlantic ocean), west to Victoria (Pacific Ocean), north to Inuvik (Arctic ocean) and back again.

The xof1 car.

The car, designed and built by the xof1 team, uses 853 Shell solar cells, each 6.44mm x 12.5mm (2.5" x 4.9"). The cells operate at about 15% efficiency and the array generates about 900 watts, according to the xof1 team.

The drive system uses a 96V brushless DC motor and controller from New Generation Corporation as well as a 3.8 kWh lithium-ion battery system from Kokam. Total net weight of the cells is about 30 kg (66 lbs).

The battery is recharged both by the array and via regenerative braking. The motor takes energy from the battery at all times, although at times the current flow will result in a net recharge for the battery rather than a net discharge (wWhen going down a hill, for example, or at low speeds). The xof1 team developed its own Battery Monitoring System (BMS).

Underneath the cover of the solar car. Click to enlarge.

The car has an estimated wight of 300 kg (661 lbs)—including driver—and a projected top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).

The project, conceived of and led by Marcelo da Luz, has faced as many problems from red tape as technology challenges. The government of Ontario and Newfoundland declined to issue the temporary permits that would allow the solar car on public roads.

A pedestrian, a cyclist, horse and buggies, farm equipment, etc. can make use of secondary roads where the speed limit is 80kmh but a solar car that can drive at 120kmh and would be escorted by vehicles with flashing lights is not allowed.

—Marcelo da Luz

The team, however, found a workaround loophole, and plans the run the 3rd week in May.




Headline should be "SIGHTS" not "SITES"


That was embarassing. Thank you.

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