Panasonic Supports Tokai University Solar Car Team with High-efficiency HIT(R)
Solar Cells and High-capacity Lithium-ion Batteries
Osaka, Aug 27, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Panasonic Corporation today announced
that it has agreed to provide technical support to Tokai University's
solar car team, which will compete in the 2013 World Solar Challenge (WSC
2013), one of the world's biggest races for solar cars, to be held from
October 6 to 13 in Australia. Under the sponsorship agreement, Panasonic will
provide the Japanese university team with its HIT(R)(1) solar cells which boast
the industry's top-class electricity output(2) as well as its
high-capacity lithium-ion batteries.
The WSC, which started in 1987 and became a biennial event in 1999, is a
time-based competition over a distance of 3,021km from Darwin in the north down
to Adelaide in the south. Teams from around the world, including universities
and corporations, participate in the race in cars powered solely by sunlight.
The Tokai University team has an impressive track record in solar car racing.
The team won the previous WSC races held in 2009 and 2011, and is now looking
to make a hat trick in the WSC this year. Last year, the team also won the race
in South Africa that was recognized by the Federation Internationale de
l'Automobile (FIA) as the world's longest alternative fuel vehicle
car race. Panasonic's energy products contributed to the team's
victories at these international competitions.
Panasonic's HIT solar cells have a unique hybrid configuration with a
crystalline silicon substrate surrounded by ultrathin amorphous silicon layers.
Compared to ordinary crystalline silicon-based solar cells, Panasonic's
HIT solar cells suffer less degradation of power output at high temperatures,
delivering the industry's highest-level energy output per unit of area(2).
This makes Panasonic's HIT solar cells ideal for solar cars competing in
races such as the WSC, given that the WSC regulations limit the total area of
solar cells installed on the body to up to six square meters(3) and that the
cells will be exposed to the scorching Australian sun. The HIT solar modules
for the Tokai University team are purpose-built for the solar car race, using
the same solar cells - the main component that converts the sunlight into
electricity - that are mass-produced for the residential market.
The rechargeable batteries Panasonic is providing are the cylindrical 18650
type (18 mm in diameter x 65 mm in height) high-capacity lithium-ion battery
cells which use the company's proprietary nickel-based positive electrode.
The high-capacity and lightweight battery cells store excess power generated by
the HIT solar cells so that the car is able to continue running even on
(1) HIT is a registered trademark and an original technology of the Panasonic
(2) In terms of area (per m2) and system capacity (per kW) in Japan's
domestic industry for solar power generating systems for residential use, as of
June 2013, according to Panasonic data.
(3) For silicon-based solar cells
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering
of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential,
non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in
1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated
companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for
the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through
innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life
and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic,
please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/ .
Tokyo Public Relations Office
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