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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 15:27, September 25, 2005
8th World Solar Challenge begins in Australia
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The Eighth World Solar Challenge began in Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia, Sunday, with the attendance of 22 solar-powered cars from across the world.

The World Solar Challenge motivates research and development into harnessing solar energy for future transport needs for many years.

The participants will traverse more than 3,000km over the Australian continent - from tropical Darwin to balmy Adelaide, capital of the state of South Australia, in cars powered by nothing more than the sun.

Apart from compulsory stops at the seven checkpoints, each teamendeavors to travel as far as it can each day, but must make camp by 5pm each evening.

Given perfect weather, the world's best may well achieve their goal of reaching Adelaide in less than four days.

The world record-holding Dutch entry Nuna 3, Australia's Aurora101 and the German HansGo team are expected to put on a good contest, according to Australian Associated Press.

Organizer Chris Selwood said he is concerned about the weather.

"I got a weather map from the Bureau of Meteorology this morning and there is a big swag of cloud coming over South Australia ... so it's going to be interesting to see how this pansout," he was quoted as saying.

"These teams, they'll have to look at their energy management. They are allowed to have 10 percent of the energy they need to complete the event as stored energy here at the start line, they can burn into that at any time they like," he said.

"But then they will be burning into their reserves and they will be needing to worry about whether those reserves would get them through the last bit, if it's cloudy," he said.

"The cloud is definitely a factor, the weather is definitely a factor in the event - they are chess pieces in the game and that makes it quite exciting," he said.

Teams from as far afield as the United States, France, Japan and Canada will be trying to beat the Dutch team, which has won the last two events - the last in a world record 30 hours and 54 minutes.

Source: Xinhua

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