THOMAS O’KILL, Education Business Mgr, HP-UK, July 7, 2008
I am the education business manager for the Personal Systems Group (PSG) at HP United Kingdom and I would like to tell you about a great project we are supporting: Solar Powered Cars.
Although a worldwide sponsorship (with solar races across the globe), given the group running and designing the car are UK based, I am the main liaison point for HP with the team and ensured the sponsorship got off the ground.
HP has recently announced that it is sponsoring the Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) team, including providing its latest technology that will be used to enhance the design, build and operation of the solar racing vehicle as it prepares to race in the 2009 World Solar Challenge.
CUER’s first big test took place in June 2008 when their inaugural car, “Affinity”, drove from Land’s End in Cornwall, UK to John O’Groats in Northern Scotland, using only the power of the sun’s energy. Admittedly, some bad weather along the way – it is British summertime after all – meant that there were a few sections when the car had to be put on a trailer. But all in all, it was a great success.
HP mobile workstations, handhelds and business notebooks were used to manage and analyse solar power consumption, mechanical performance and environmental data. Enabling the support team to tell the driver how to adjust his driving style in order to get the most efficient power consumption and keep driving.
They will be entering the same car in the Zero Rally Africathat travels 4,000 km (2,485 miles) from Victoria Falls in Zambia, via Namibia to Cape Town in South Africa, during 10 days in January 2009, followed by a completely newly designed and built car for the World Solar Challenge on 18-25 October 2009 in Australia. The World Solar Challenge goes from Darwin in the Northern Territories to Adelaide, in South Australia, covering a distance of 3,000 km (1,865 miles). HP’s powerful xw8600 workstations will be used to design the new car, which they hope will be a good challenger for solar honours.
I am closely following the team’s progress and am looking forward to the next big test – Zero Rally Africa. At least the weather will be less wet (and somewhat warmer) than during the test drive in the UK.