24 May 2022

Bloemfontein be on the lookout: The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is coming to your town!

Submitted by Yethu Dlamini
Bloemfontein be on the lookout: The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is coming to your town!

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will wrap-up day two of the event at the University of the Free State, which will be a mid-way point of the first ever two-day marathon stage.

The marathon stage aims to challenge teams to work on their solar cars in a closed and secured area with limited workforce, in preparation for the second half of the marathon. This is done to test the teams’ reliability.

“Once teams have completed day two of the event, the cars will be parked in a closed and secured area where only three selected individuals from each team will be allowed to go in and work on their car throughout the night before the next day,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “Teams will not be able to pass tools or equipment into the workshop area, all equipment will be brought in through the entrance under the scrutiny of the designated event official.”

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge will also incorporate other two special stages, which are half and full blind stages, where information relating to the route will be withheld until the night before teams take on the road, forcing them to strategise.

“This will make the event more exciting, challenging at the same time, and more adventurous,” said Walker.

The Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years, bringing together university and high school teams, and even private engineers who have manufactured fully functioning, roadworthy cars powered only by the sun. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.

Sasol Solar Challenge representative in Bloemfontein, Floris Niehaus said it was important for the community - especially school learners - to learn about sustainable energy resources and how to apply them in everyday applications.

“The community of Bloemfontein is looking forward to witnessing innovative solar technologies that will be showcased by the solar car teams in the town. School learners especially, will have the opportunity to interact and learn more about STEM in real-world from like-minded scholars,” said Niehaus. We hope this experience results in an increased interest in STEM subjects for school learners, and subsequently pursuing careers in the field of STEM.

The 2022 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town will include five provinces, 14 towns and more than 20 communities. New towns include Brakpan, Trompsburg, Willowmore, Kirkwood, Jeffreys Bay, Riversdale and Caledon. The event is also bringing new local and international teams including those competing for the first time in South Africa and in a solar challenge. 

Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said, “The marathon stage will put the teams knowledge and skills to the test as they work under strict rules and regulations to produce fully functioning cars for the second half of the marathon stage. We look forward to seeing different types of strategies including communication and time management -  as the teams will be working on limited workforce.”

Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at:

https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/  or on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SASolarChallenge/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sasolarchallenge/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Solar_Challenge

Published in Science and Education