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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Solar energy powering education

LEARNING CURVE: Mornay Riddles of the AMTL advises a student on the manufacturing process of the CPUT Solar Flyer. LEARNING CURVE: Mornay Riddles of the AMTL advises a student on the manufacturing process of the CPUT Solar Flyer.

The CPUT Solar Flyer will get its wings this Thursday when it will be officially launched at the Auditorium on the Bellville Campus.

Our students take part in the Sasol Solar Challenge 2018, South Africa for the first time this year and our entry is called CPUT Solar Flyer because the original design made the solar car look a bit like a plane.

Held every second year, the Sasol Solar Challenge sees teams from across the world design and build solar-powered vehicles to drive across South Africa in an eight day event.

The ten CPUT students are currently gathering their tents, sleeping bags and camping equipment for the journey in between some frantic, last minute building on the solar car.

This being the first time we enter, everything about building the solar car over the past almost three months, has been a steep learning curve. This applies not only to the technicians in the AMTL workshop who are teaching the students about assembling the car, but also to our engineering lecturers who want to incorporate parts of the solar car building project into coursework.

Speaking to the students at a team meeting, Prof Graeme Oliver who signed the students up for the competition, prepped them to expect a lot of activity at the finish line. Learners from Stellenbosch schools will be invited to take part in a host of activities on 29 September.

“The competition is here to encourage younger people to take up engineering as a career. You know why you are doing this, but they don’t,” said Oliver, as he suggested the CPUT students be ready for lots of questions.

After the competition the car will be used as a talking point to create awareness around studying engineering at CPUT.

*CPUT staff and students who want to attend the launch between 10.00 and 12.00 can email Nwabisa Nongxa on to RSVP.

Written by Theresa Smith


Provides coverage for the Applied Sciences and Engineering Faculties and the Wellington Campus.