“Population: Humans – 10, Cows – 50, Flies – 1,000,000.” So read the sign that greeted Stanford’s Solar Car Project team on entering Glendambo in the Australian outback. The 20 students and their car, Sundae, entered the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, going on this week.
The race, which has occurred every two years for three decades, is the oldest solar-powered car race, spanning more than 1,800 miles across the entire Outback from Darwin to Adelaide. A rule change limiting a car’s solar array size could make this year’s race the most challenging yet.
“This change required us to aggressively optimize Sundae’s aerodynamics,” said the team’s engineering lead, Max Drach ’17. “Sundae’s aerobody has 20 percent less drag at