Tokai Solar Car Takes 2011 World Solar Challenge

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Osaka- (PanOrient News) Tokai University Solar Car Team which used HIT solar cells that boast the world's highest level of energy conversion rate and supported with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries provided by Panasonic, won the 2011 World Solar Challenge ahead of the Dutch Nuon Team. WSC is one of the world's largest solar car races held in Australia since 1987.

The WSC solar car race competition starts from Darwin in the north of Australia and travels down to Adelaide in the south, a total distance of 3,021 km. This year's race started on October 16. From the start, the team from Japan took the lead and continually increased its leading position throughout the entire race. The solar car ran smoothly without any trouble to finally reach the finish line 32 hours and 45 minutes later in Adelaide today, October 20, 2011 at around 1PM local Darwin time.

Panasonic HIT solar cells are hybrids of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. The cells are ideal for obtaining maximum power within a limited space, greatly lifting the performance of the solar car in the WSC where regulations limit the total area of solar cells that can be installed on the body of the car.

Panasonic also provided cylindrical 18650-type high-capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. These high-capacity, long-enduring, and lightweight batteries utilize Panasonic's proprietary nickel-based positive electrodes and have the highest level of energy density in the industry. Linked in lightweight battery pack arrays, they can operate for long periods of time.

The Tokai team was sponsored by Panasonic Corporation, based in Osaka, Japan. The company is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. The company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ending March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges.

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