Watch these U of T students unveil the solar car they hope will shine brightest in Australia
Engineering students worked on their newest solar vehicle, the Viridian, for 2 years
Toronto-based engineering students are hoping to drive to victory with their newest solar vehicle at a 3,000- km race in Australia later this year.
The University of Toronto's Blue Sky Solar Racing team unveiled their 10th generation vehicle, the Viridian, at the university on Monday.
"You start with a full pack of battery charge at the beginning of the race, and that's all you have for the entire competition," said Samantha Chau, the team's electromechanical engineer.
According to the team, the Viridian is their most aerodynamically sound car to date, developed to maximize solar-energy collection while directly producing zero CO2 emissions.
For 22 years, an undergraduate design team from U of T has designed, built and raced solar-powered vehicles across the world. Now, they're getting ready to race in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.
The World Solar Challenge is an endurance race across the Australian Outback to test the advancements of electric vehicles.
The Viridian is also designed to be lighter than previous models and uses different manufacturing techniques, with a "bullet-shaped" design, according to Blue Sky Solar Racing's project manager, Hubaab Hussain.
Teams will drive every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m until they arrive at the finish line, relying solely on solar energy for the latter half of the race.
"At that point, that's why the solar panels are so important, because that's your only source of energy to replenish your battery for the rest of the race," Chau said.
Although the team's highest achievement was at the World Solar Challenge when they placed eighth in 2013, they believe the Viridian has potential to surpass this.
"We want to go back to the competition and we want to finish a lot higher than eighth. If we can beat our personal record, that would be a massive check-mark in my book," Hussain said.