Alternative Fuels Australia

Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

Solar racers on display at this year’s Melbourne International Motor Show

Posted by Car Geek on January 25, 2008

Two of Australia’s most successful solar-powered vehicles will be on display at this year’s Melbourne International Motor Show. The Aurora Vehicle Association will be displaying its original solar vehicle, “Christine”, as well as the latest model, Aurora 101, which came in third at the 2007 World Solar Challenge.

Aurora 101, image courtesy Aurora Vehicle Association.

The Aurora 101 has a drag coefficient of less than 0.1 and last month covered a distance of 1590 km on just 5.8 kWh of electricity from its solar panels, worth only 85 cents if taken from the grid. Its older sibling, Christine, set a world distance record for an electric vehicle on a single battery charge on the same day, covering 811.6 km in less than 16 hours.

Both vehicles will be on display for the duration of the Motor Show, from the 29th of February to the 10th of March, and will be in the Motor Show Cavalcade on the 27th of February if you want to see them in action.

(Source: Melbourne International Motor Show [pdf])

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Posted in Electric vehicles, Solar | 2 Comments »

Adelaide home to the Tindo solar-powered bus

Posted by Car Geek on December 15, 2007

The Tindo solar electric bus. Image from Adelaide City Council.

Public transport doesn’t get much greener than this. New Zealand company Designline International have developed an electric bus, which is currently being operated in Adelaide and is recharged using a BP Solar recharging station.

The bus, known as “Tindo” (the local Aboriginal word for sun), has zero emissions (as you’d expect from an electric vehicle), a range of 200 km and seats up to 42 passengers in air-conditioned comfort. Even better, the bus is entirely free to ride, as it is part of the Adelaide Connector Bus service. Power is provided from the largest solar power system in the state, pumping 70,000 kWh of electricity back into the grid annually, which will be installed at Adelaide Central bus station.

If anyone in Adelaide gets a chance to take a ride on the Tindo, drop us a line via e-mail or in the comments – we’d love to hear about your experiences!

(Source: Adelaide City Council via ABG)

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Posted in Buses, Electric vehicles, Solar | 14 Comments »

This year’s Solar Challenge isn’t just about solar power

Posted by Car Geek on October 21, 2007

Waikato University's UltraCommuter experimental vehicle. Image courtesy WSC.

For the past twenty years, the World Solar Challenge has demonstrated the ability to run a car purely from the power of the sun. With climate change and resource scarcity registering as a significant public issue, however, the organisers last year added a new class to the competition that promotes environmentally friendly vehicles that don’t necessarily need to run on solar power. Here’s some of the entrants for this year:

  • Team Ethanol, from Queensland, is using a production Saab BioPower vehicle to aim for its second consecutive Greenfleet Technology Class title. The team will be running on E85 fuel produced in Sarina, in Queensland’s north.
  • The University of Adelaide has entered using its BioBike, a modified motorcycle that runs on pure biodiesel.
  • Bios Fuel Corp will be running a diesel-powered vehicle on a controversial 60/40 combination of waste oil and water. The New Zealand-based team says that their H2W+ fuel is more advanced than ethanol or biodiesel.
  • The Japanese H2Solar vehicle won’t be competing for a title, but the JonaSun team is using the race to demonstrate their technology. The experimental vehicle runs on both solar power and a hydrogen fuel cell.

The race is currently underway, with the first teams expected to make it to Adelaide by the weekend.

Posted in alternative fuels, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Hydrogen, Solar | Leave a Comment »