SUNConferences, COMA '13

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Manufacturing Challenges for Custom Made Solar Vehicles in South Africa
Warren Stanley Hurter, Nickey Janse van Rensburg, Pieter Janse van Rensburg, Gert Adriaan Oosthuizen

Last modified: 2013-08-20


Solar challenges are designed to test the reliability and efficiency of solar powered vehicles in endurance races. In the past these manufactured vehicles were technology drivers and led to advances in electric motors and solar cell efficiency. The speed in relation to power consumption is one of the main design considerations, with the only energy source being solar power.  In the design and manufacturing of these vehicles a number of requirements need to be met in order to pass the safety standards set by the FIA. The Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) created an opportunity for South African universities to design and manufacture custom made solar powered vehicles. This paper explores and discusses the challenges for manufacturing solar vehicles in South Africa. Key elements like the communication gap between design and manufacturing, the cost of lightweight solar encapsulation, the shortage of local suppliers and expertise in composite manufacturing were evaluated. These insights can be used as foundation for strategic decisions by future stakeholders.

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