Petroleum Institute Students Successfully Test Solar Car

The Petroleum Institute (PI) solar car team has successfully tested its solar car on the roads of Masdar City, ahead of its official masdar solar carunveiling in November.

PI is flying the flag for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as one of 20 university teams from around the world competing in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC). The competition, which is the Middle East’s first International Solarcar Federation event, will be held across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from 16-19 January 2015. It is sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and hosted as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week by Masdar – Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The PI team consists of 17 locally-based students who have been working closely with partners from Japan’s Tokai University in getting their solar car ready for the challenge. They were delighted to test the vehicle around the streets of Masdar City.

The team’s driver, Saleh Al Ameri, said: “We couldn’t be happier with how the testing went. All eyes are on us as the team representing the UAE during the solar challenge. The car performed very well during our test drive at Masdar City. We look forward to showcasing our technology and agility of our car as we race around the Emirate in January.”

Dr Fahad Al Maskari, PI Solar Car Project Director and Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Program, said: “The trials were about two things: first, making sure that the car met the requirements set out by the organisers and second, testing its performance. We succeeded on both fronts and we are very pleased. The next step is officially unveiling the car to the public.”

The PI team has been working closely with Tokai University students, with the support of their sponsors Japan Oil Development Company Ltd (JODCO), in preparing for ADSC.

Ryuji Otsuka, Aerodynamics Chief of Tokai University, one of the students working with the PI explains: “It’s fantastic to be here in the UAE and working so closely with the PI in finding new ways to improve performance of the car. Our past experience of solar challenge events, combined with the expertise and fresh perspective of the PI team will hopefully prove a winning formula. PI’s entry will certainly be stronger as a result of our close collaboration and partnership. Bring on the challenge!”


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