How Design Factors Affect Solar Car Race Performance 880728

During the 1987 World Solar Challenge, 23 solar powered cars raced from Darwin to Adalaide along the Stuart Highway through central Australia. This paper discusses the design factors that determined the relative success of the competitors. A simple mathematical model explains the limiting speed of the leading vehicles in terms of power output, aerodynamic drag, weight, and tire rolling resistance. Suggestions on how to improve the designs are Included.


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