Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 17:23.

With my criticism of the Memorial Day Indy 500 race behind us,  and the need for transportation still in front of us,  I introduce the Realneo audience to Marcelo da Luz.   Sig. Da Luz is a prime motivator in the development of the slick 3 wheel (two front/one rear) solar car on display behind him last Sunday at Kensington Market in Toronto, Canada.  The solar project is called the Power of One, and “Xof1” cleverly and concisely captures the solar contest in its domain name: www.xof1.com

Sig. Da Luz must have a tremendous amount of energy and commitment, (and pleasure in the solar venture) because he is a tireless one-man campaign for solar power.  In contrast to most salesmen, when I asked a question of Sig. Da Luz – he knew the answer – in detail.  

The brushless permanent magnet motor in this car cost $16,000.00.   There are no gears.  The care weighs 242 kilos without driver.  Interestingly, other solar cars are designed with one front wheel, and two rear wheels.  Why the difference?  Fewer wheels (3 rather than 4) equals less rolling resistance (and less stability – two in front and one in rear is more stable than one in front and two in rear on turns).      The PV on the car produce a peak output of 900 watts. 

The Power of One Solar Car Challenge is only one of many teams involved from across the globe.

If you are interested in the technical engineering of solar cars, here is a valuable link where motors, gearing, and motor controllers are discussed.   A long list of solar car teams around the world, including xof1,  can be found on www.speedace here 

It is a bit ironic and a bit discomforting that speedace is originally and primarily a site for gas guzzling automobiles   But it is encouraging that solar cars are now listed on speedace.

Cleveland produced the Woods Electric Automobile in the early 1900’s – so it’s back to the future!

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