The Philippines’ second solar car, Sikat, will be in Cagayan de Oro City from January 30 to February 1, 2010. This is part of their a historic 50-day tour across the country. The road show is aimed at promoting the use of solar energy and preparing the team for the 2011 World Solar Car Challenge in Australia.

The tour will begin and end at the De La Salle University-Manila (DLSU) grounds, where Sikat and its predecessor, Sinag, were designed and built by Lasallian engineering students and faculty members.

It may be recalled that DLSU launched Sinag, the first Philippine solar car, in which it finished 12th among 40 entries in 2007 World Solar Car Challenge.

From DLSU, Sikat will proceed to the Technological University of the Philippines in Manila and 26 other universities and malls in key cities across the country. The car will be featured in exhibitions in all its stops, which include SM Cagayan de Oro, MSU-IIT in Iligan, University of Mindanao, La Salle Bacolod, and University of San Carlos in Cebu.

The solar car’s improved design features new generation sun power cells and a sleeker, more maneuverable and aerodynamic design. The car’s top surface is encapsulated with solar cells provided by Sunpower, a company that provides the highest-efficiency solar cells in the world. The solar cells are manufactured in Laguna where hundreds of thousands of cells are exported to other countries.

Sikat’s body is made of lightweight carbon fiber found in current F1 car models like that of Sinag. At 190 kg, Sikat is lighter by 100 kilograms and can outrun Sinag’s top speed of 112 kph.

Sikat solar car concept

Wonder how Sikat works at night when solar energy resource is not available? Sikat can be driven at night, on its batteries, for eight straight hours. The car’s side mirrors are video cameras that show the car’s side and back views in screens in the cockpit. According to the Philippines Solar Car Society (PSCS) news release, the Philippines has a huge potential for tapping solar technology that is one of the cleanest known methods of energy production.

The university is in partnership with PSCS, Inc. and corporate sponsors Ford Philippines, Motolite, Shell, and Sunpower Corporation, among others.

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