Hardly lightspeed, but sunswift.

Wales is in Britain. New Wales is somewhere. South Wales probably exists in Britain. And New South Wales is Australia’s most populous state. In it, there’s a university, aptly named the University of New South Wales. Definitely easier to read and write if abbreviated to UNSW.

And from UNSW comes this little beast, brought to you by the University of New South Wales Solar Racing Team—also known simply as, “Sunswift.” They’ve been around since ’95.


“As well as business students as well.”
(I like the part at the beginning where one guy just offhandedly picks up the car)
One of the Sunswift IVy posters

And it did cost more than a Porsche: $280,000 for this thing.

From where the camera stands, it doesn’t look like it’s going fast. That’s because it’s not. In fact, you likely go faster than its (average of) 55.14 mph almost every time you’re on the freeway.

But the previous land-speed record for a 100% solar-powered, human-driven vehicle was about 49 mph, so this is a great improvement. And its top speed isn’t bad: almost 72 mph. Here’s the post the Sunswift website made, regarding their breaking the world record. It’s pretty recent!

The speaker makes a good analogy between F1 cars and solar-powered cars when he says you’ll probably never actually buy or drive a solar-powered vehicle your own, but the people who work on them will develop technologies which will make their way to the consumer market.

What’s cool about this unit—called Sunswift IVy (the next after Sunswift III, but they must have decided ‘ivy’ sounded cooler than ‘four’)— is that the developers decided to make the entire project open-source. Which again, means they’re releasing all of their plans, programs and designs for anyone else to work on and modify as they please. Check out the Sunswift IVy website for more information; click the “open source” button. Some of their posters are pretty witty, too.

"Money shot" of the Sunswift IVy

The website actually called this the "money shot." ❤

The articles I read:

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One thought on “Hardly lightspeed, but sunswift.

  1. Pingback: Solar power is the wave (and particle) of the future. | GetReal

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