The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is one of the most popular competitions for solar vehicles in the world. The race took place in mid-October and traveled 3,000km (1,864 miles) across Australia. With the help of the Lufft WS504 intelligent weather sensor, the Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team finished in the top three.
“The Australian solar race is among the most challenging in the world and we are very pleased to be able to support the Punch Powertrain Solar Team again,” said Tobias Weil, marketing director, Lufft. “We congratulate the entire team on an amazing third place finish.”
The sensor manufacturer first supported the Belgian team in 2011 by providing them with weather sensors. This year, the intelligent WS504 transmitter was used during the race to measure the sun’s radiation intensity and determine the wind force. Both aspects were fundamental to the racing team’s successful strategy.
The intensity of solar radiation determines how much energy is needed to move the car. Since wind resistance is the biggest contributor to loss of speed in solar powered vehicles, the team had to keep a close eye on this measurement component during the competition. However, stronger winds can have a positive effect on the speed of the vehicle as the wings of the solar car act as sails.
Ruben Dekeyser, a member of the Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team, said, “We have remained loyal to Lufft’s sensors because they have proven in the past that they are extremely robust and reliable. An added bonus is their compact design. Therefore, it is quite easy to take a weather station in a car and transport it around Australia.”
Knowing how to deal with the given weather conditions is a significant factor in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which can determine victory or defeat. By using the compact WS504 all-in-one weather sensor from Lufft, the Punch Powertrain Solar Team had data from a total of six measurement parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind direction, wind speed and radiation available. - November 2017