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A different kind of roadtrip

August 2015 News

A group of students and lecturers from the University of Johannesburg were on a roadtrip of a different kind when they travelled over 4000 km through Namibia and Botswana at the end of June to test out their solar powered car. Mechanical engineering lecturer at the Energy Movement lab, Nickey Janse van Rensburg says that the Ilanga II can do up to 140 km/h.

The aerodynamic lines of the orange and white Ilanga II drew delighted crowds along the way. The Solar Car Project promotes the study and development of efficient energy use, environmental awareness, energy management and innovative engineering. The solar panels on top of the vehicle are similar to those that powered the Mars Rover. The Ilanga II’s tool box is a 3D printer to replace parts needed for running repairs. It has already produced the steering interface, buttons, battery holder and brackets for the roof panel.

The Ilanga II is UJ’s third solar-powered car. The team hopes to take her to next year’s Sasol Solar Car Challenge where the Ilanga 1.1 previously won the Technology and Innovation award. Local and international solar car developers compete in that race between Pretoria and Cape Town.

The Ilanga II is being used to research and develop sustainable and green engineering that can be used in the real world. The team already has plans to introduce the technology to power village pumps.

For more information contact Nickey Janse Van Rensburg, University of Johannesburg, +27 (0)11 559 2538, nickeyjvr@uj.ac.za, www.ujsolar.co.za





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