The Petroleum institute, PI, is participating at the ‘GulfSol Exhibition' with its solar car, showcasing its performance and usability reaching new heights in the world of renewable energy.
The Petroleum Institute Solar Car Project is designed to familiarise students with the use of cutting-edge technologies and the applications of various engineering concepts. The goal of the project is to design, manufacture, test, and race a solar car at a worldwide competitive level. Throughout their project, it was an aim to display it to the world.
Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, President of the Petroleum Institute said: "The Solar Car Programme at the Petroleum Institute embodies many of the elements that we as educators seek to instil in our students during their time with us. Among these is first and foremost an abiding sense among our students of their responsibility as citizens of the world for safeguarding the environment and to making effective and efficient use of the precious resources that endow our land.
"To the extent that solar energy is becoming a viable and growing part of the energy landscape of the UAE and region, we are pleased to be supporting this new technology and the promise that it represents for future generations."
Dr. Fahad Al-Maskari, Director of the solar car project, said: "PI solar car has enabled us to put our minds and hearts into a product that we are all proud of. The synergy between the team members and the positive energy has produced such a fine example of an excellent team and we are extremely proud of what they have achieved. I would like to thank our leaders for their guidance and encouragement since the start of the project and I would also like to thank our sponsors without them we would not have made it.
The PI Solar Car was created in partnership with Tokai University from Japan, winners of the World Solar Challenge created most recently in 2009 and 2011. The PI solar car participated in Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge hosted by MASDAR last January. The team won the second prize out of 15 international teams and the PI students were honoured in World Future Energy Summit which was delivered by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The car without the driver weighs around 140kg and is 5m in length and 1.5m in width. The car has lithium ion batteries acquired from Panasonic, which weighs 20kg, and are powered by the 6m2 solar cells on the car. The theoretical top speed of the car is 150km/h and the maximum high speed that has been achieved is 123 km/h, staying within the legal speed limit of the road in UAE.
The unique design of the car ensures advanced aerodynamic capabilities thus allowing the car to reach those high speeds while consuming minimum energy. The project was initiated in fall of 2013 and the car was completed in fall of 2014. The components on the car are mostly from Japan, France and the United States, and the procured parts were all assembled in the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi.