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Tokai University swept away the title at one of the world's largest solar car races, the "2011 World Solar Challenge." The team's solar car was equipped with Panasonic's HIT(R) solar cells and lithium-ion battery. The race took place for 23 days and covered a distance of over 3,000km stretching across the Australian desert from Darwin in the north to Adelaide in the south. The Tokai University team defeated 36 teams from all around the world to win the title. What was the key to their success?
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This race, which journeys vertically across Australia, is a very difficult race to accomplish - out of the 37 teams that entered the race only 7 finished. By the way, Japan can fit vertically in the map of Australia depicted on the left.
Professor Kimura, the director of the Tokai University solar car team told us, "We wanted to compete with an "All Japan" machine made from the best technology in Japan." He looks back and believes that Panasonic's HIT(R) solar cells and lithium-ion battery played an important role in their win.
The Tokai University team completed the race, which took place in harsh weather conditions, such as under scorching temperatures of nearly 40 degrees Celsius and sometimes cloudy skies with lower conversion rates. Especially during the later days of the race, the skies were often clouded, so the solar car had to run solely on the energy stored in the lithium-ion battery. That was a moment Panasonic's battery technology wielded its power.
The Tokai University team finished on the 23rd day of the race, an hour and 5 minutes ahead of the second team. This remarkable feat was made possible by the passion and effort of the Tokai University team and Panasonic's technology.