Energy optimization of a solar powered electric vehicle for a long distance race with crosswind effects

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Solar car, Crosswind effects, Modeling of crosswinds


Electric and hybrid vehicles arouse public interest because of the growing awareness of environmental issues. It is believed that solar car will be a viable option in the future. In this paper, we explore the effects of crosswind and its effects on electric power consumption for the IVE Hong Kong World Solar Challenge 2015 entry. Modelling of the effects of crosswind in various vehicle speeds shows that the power consumption can increase by up to 20% in strong winds. To date this area has not been fully covered. We also outline the design of the SOPHIE IV solar powered electric vehicle, which successfully completed the 3021km World Solar Challenge in 2013 in Australia. Lessons learned are incorporated into the new 2015 SOPHIE V. As a result of this research, the shape of the body shell is modified aerodynamically and a speed control support system is implemented to monitor the optimal speed in a bid to complete the race with the least energy and the time allotted. The solar car project brings students together from mechanical and electrical disciplines inspiring successful teamwork and leadership and promoting science and engineering as a bright promising career.

Source Publication

2015 The International Conference on Electrical Engineering

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