Most of us have likely driven past a house or two equipped with rooftop solar panels that harness the sun’s energy, but we’ve probably never driven a car designed with the same advanced technology. But what if we could drive cross-country relying only on the power of the sun? It’s not cheap to travel around town anymore – a full tank of gas costs an average of $100 AUD. Solar-powered vehicles aim to reduce operating costs by converting the sun’s energy into electricity, which in turn allows you to use your stereo, air conditioner or interior lights – it even powers your engine. And with fuel prices on the rise, people around the country and the world are placing a renewed focus on how to best take advantage of solar power.
On the forefront of alternative energy research is the World Solar Challenge, a biannual race that brings together teams from leading international universities to develop a vehicle that can make a 3,000-kilometer journey from Darwin to Adelaide using solar power, advanced automotive technology and true design innovation. One team in particular, from the University of Western Sydney (UWS), entered the competition after nearly a year and a half of planning and research. To develop this futuristic vehicle, the UWS group looked to Lenovo’s industry-leading technology for help turning their idea into reality. Over the course of the race, the students relied solely on durable, portable ThinkPads to quickly process the data and diagnostics transmitted by the solar car in real time. Several thousand kilometers later, the UWS team proudly arrived in Adelaide in 11th place, out of 23 total entrants.
To learn more about how Lenovo ThinkPads and workstations provide the reliability, efficiency and performance capabilities needed to power both the University of Western Sydney’s solar car and enable the development of automotive technology that tests the boundaries of energy efficiency, click here. [PDF]