Singapore, 23 August 2013 – Singapore
Polytechnic (SP) will be competing in the 2013 World Solar Challenge – a 3,000
km race over six days across the Australian Outback in October this year. This
is considered the most challenging and competitive solar car race in the world
SP’s solar car
‘SunSPEC 3’ will be the sole Singaporean entry competing against 43 teams from
renowned universities across 24 countries including the United States, Japan
and the Netherlands.
To participate in the race, a
multi-disciplinary group of SP staff and students from various engineering
diplomas such as Energy Systems and Management and Mechanical Engineering was
assembled to build a race-worthy solar car over the past 14 months. Each
student was selected based on their technical knowledge, passion for
engineering and ability to work efficiently as a team under pressure.
The team designed ‘SunSPEC 3’ as
a four-wheeled vehicle for improved vehicle stability and enhanced driver
safety. This design also meets the latest regulations of the World Solar Challenge
which requires solar cars to adopt a conventional design based on the common
The end result is a solar car measuring
4.5m by 1.8m with a height of 1.1m that is able to attain a maximum speed of 100km/h
while running on less energy than a typical hairdryer. This is made possible by
having an aerodynamic design and an ultra-lightweight body made of Carbon Fibre
Reinforced Polymer, with the entire solar car weighing just 200kg without a
To capture enough sunlight to power the solar car, most of the exposed surface
of SunSPEC 3 is covered with 516 pieces of high efficiency solar cells. These
commercial energy efficient cells are able to absorb 23% of the sun’s rays –
among the highest absorption rates for silicon solar cells in the world. The
captured sunlight is then converted and distributed to the electric motors and
to recharge a Lithium-ion battery pack. A high-tech battery management system monitors
battery voltages and temperatures, ensuring safe operation. These unique
features in the solar car will enable SunSPEC 3 to negotiate the challenging
conditions of the race in the fastest possible time while using only a
renewable source of energy.
Team manager of SunSPEC 3 and
electrical engineering senior lecturer, Mr Steven Chew expressed his hopes for
a cleaner and greener future resulting from technologies used in the solar
car. ‘By designing and building SunSPEC
3 in line with industry standards, the whole car or different components and
systems within the car has the potential to be adapted for commercial purposes.
For example, the battery management system can be integrated into a future
smart home to manage its energy usage’.
SunSPEC 3 also allows students the
opportunity to learn about advanced electrical systems, applied materials
engineering and advanced manufacturing techniques. Learning to build a solar
car also helps the students to develop a greater environmental conscience which
might create a more sustainable automotive industry.
Student leader of the
SunSPEC 3 team, Ang Bo Jia, a third year student from the Diploma in Mechanical
Engineering said, “I never thought that I will get the chance to build
something as cool as a solar car which might change the future of mobility as
well as to enter it in a race across the Australian Outback. This is a unique
experience which I will not get to learn in the classroom and I would like to
thank SP and my lecturers for giving me this opportunity”.
will be SP’s second participation at the World Solar Challenge since 1999. Last
year, SP’s SunSPEC 2 fended off six other teams from the Asian region at the
Shell Eco Marathon Asia to come in tops in the Prototype ‘Solar’ category.
SunSPEC 3 was flagged off at
Science Centre Singapore as the first initiative under the Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) signed today by SPand Science Centre Board (SCB).
A/Prof Lim Tit Meng, Chief
Executive, Science Centre Singapore said, “We are really excited with the
possibilities this partnership entails. Singapore Polytechnic offers
a perfect platform to showcase the engineering masterpiece where the public can
learn and interact with the team behind the solar car through talks and demonstrations.
We can now illustrate what energy efficient cars can achieve. I wish success to the SP solar team and
believe that they will keep the Singapore flag high at the 2013 World Solar
The SP team and solar
car ‘SunSPEC 3’ that will represent Singapore in the 3,000km 2013 World Solar
MoU signing at solar
car send-off ceremony
from left to right: Dr Ng Eng Hong, Director, School of Mechanical and
Aeronautical Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Hee Joh Liang, Deputy
Principal (Academic Planning), Singapore Polytechnic, Prof Lim Tit Meng, Chief
Executive, Science Centre Singapore,
Mr Clarence Sirisena, Deputy Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore)
For more information:
Corporate Communications Dept
T: 6870 7043
M: 9771 7871
Corporate Communications Dept
T: 6772 1350
M: 9011 9931
About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic
(SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 49
full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students. SP adopts a
proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic,
authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning
spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is
committed to producing competent and versatile graduates (who are also imbued
with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready.
SP has more than 170,000 graduates and among them are successful
entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations,
and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in
SP is the first
polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and
the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
Follow SP on Facebook
at www.facebook.com/singaporepolytechnic or Twitter at www.twitter.com/SingaporePoly
Science Centre Singapore:
educational institution and leading Science Centre in the region, the Science
Centre houses 14 exhibition galleries with more than 1,000 exhibits, and
another 30,000 sq metres of outdoor exhibition space showcasing the Waterworks
exhibition, Ecogarden and Kinetic Garden. It also houses the Omni-Theatre —
Singapore’s only dome-shaped, 5-storey high IMAX theatre. The Science Centre,
Omni-Theatre and Snow City received 1.26 million visitors.
For more information,
please visit www.science.edu.sg