RS Components partnered with The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) for the Sasol Solar Challenge ten-year anniversary race. With the experience gained in previous races, the team was determined to reduce the gap to the world’s leading teams through investigation and application of the best designs.
In an interview, team leader, Johannes de Vries, said the team would manufacture most of its mechanical components at the institution, and believes that they are now better equipped and more knowledgeable about the requirements and expectations of the race.
The TUT team with SunChaser 3.
“This year is definitely different, because of the more demanding regulations in terms of the solar panel size reduction,” he explained. “Now, there is more focus on reducing the weight of the car since there is less energy available. It will be smaller in size and more aerodynamic compared to previous models. We also experienced that the more we work on the design the more we gain better clarity and understanding of how to improve the design. I am confident that we are well resourced for this year’s race and believe that we are well placed to challenge the other teams.
RS Components is focused on inspiring the next generation of engineers by supporting university programmes that are aimed at increasing an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, and creating an ecosystem where innovation and engineering talent can thrive. The TUT Solar Car project encourages engineering students to experiment with innovative new technologies and broaden their knowledge with practical skills that tackle real-world challenges.
RS sponsored various components and tools to the TUT team to help construct and get SunChaser 3 on the road. “We’re extremely proud of the calibre of the engineers and technicians that are being developed in South Africa,” said Brian Andrew, managing director of RS Components in sub-Saharan Africa. “Our role is to give them access to the tools, components and resources they require to design, build and maintain the innovations of tomorrow. We wish the TUT team all the best for the future.”
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