By Bejay Browne
A solar-powered car challenge which will take place in Paphos this weekend will see six teams battling it out for two top prizes.
The ‘Solar Car Challenge’ is now in its fourth year and competing teams will have to complete as many laps as possible during the three hour race.
Test driving will take place this afternoon, undertaken by The Cyprus Institute’s technical team to ensure that all vehicles comply with the rules and regulations of the race, which are based on those of recognised international world solar challenges.
The race will get underway at 10 am tomorrow and will see the innovative green inventions take to the streets of Paphos.
Entrants will set off from Neapolis University in Paphos, drive to Geroskipou and end up at Paphos castle for the awards ceremony. All of the cars will complete as many laps as possible on a designated route which takes the tailor made vehicles around Paphos. This enables maximum expose for the race and ensures members of the public get to see the green creations.
Maria Mitas, of The Cyprus Institute, which organises the annual event, along with Neapolis University and the municipalities of Paphos and Geroskipou said that this year, participants from Jordan would again be joining entrants from schools and universities and individuals from all over Cyprus.
“We even have businessman taking part as well; for them this is a passion. There is no age restriction,” she said.
All of the vehicles are environmentally friendly and are powered by the sun.
“This is a great opportunity for those interested or studying science or technology to obtain some hands on experience – as they out of the laboratory,” she said. “Those who have entered each year progress with their creations as they learn from each race. This is the fourth year of the race and the third year which it has taken place on the roads in Paphos, it’s an exciting experience.”
The successful annual event aims to promote environmentally friendly renewable energy and to raise awareness of alternative technologies which make fewer demands on the environment. According to Mitas, the challenge also encourages students to study science, technology and engineering.
Mitas said that unlike most race cars, solar cars are designed with strict energy constraints which are imposed by the race regulations. Competitors may start with a fully charged battery – but the rules limit the energy used to that collected only from solar power.
There are two categories for entrants. First is the challenge category. All of the solar powered cars for this race must not exceed a budget of 20,000 euros.
Second is the open category. This race is open to any solar powered car that meets the safety regulations of The Cyprus Institute.
All of the teams which are competing have designed and built their bespoke vehicles and Mitas explained that there are two separate trophies up for grabs.
“We have an award for the winner, the team which completes the greatest number of laps in the allotted time and also the Best Design.”
Last years winners were the Technical School of Avgorou, with the Best Design Award going to the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST).
The race will start at Neapolis University at 10:00 on Sunday and finish at the castle in Kato Paphos, where the award ceremony will take place at 13:45.
For more information about the race visit http://www.cyi.ac.cy/solar-car-challenge.html