Today is wisdom Wednesday! The day where we enlighten you a little more on the technical aspects of our project and how we challenge the future of urban mobility with these technological innovations. This week: besides the weather there is another very important input factor for our strategy model; the parametrization! Team member Jeroen explains what it is and how we map it!

The second ingredient

In the previous Wisdom Wednesday on strategy we explained the importance of weather data as input for our strategy model. To determine the optimal strategy we need another variable; the parametrization. But what exactly does that mean?


To determine our driving speed at every position during the race we have to know how much energy is consumed at each speed, and also the efficiency of our solar aray and provide us with energy which we can use to race. This is tested on a banked circuit where RED Shift will drive several laps at high speed. We also perform coasting tests where we shut off RED Shifts engine at a certain speed and measure how long it takes for her to come to a halt without using the brakes. This allows us to map the acceleration and deceleration of our solar car at a certain speed. By analyzing this data we can determine how much friction RED Shift experiences when driving.

Battle with the forces

When it is clear to us how much friction RED Shift experiences when driving, we can predict how much energy our solar car will use during the race. We need this information to determine the optimal driving speed during the race. Our battery does not have an infinite supply of energy, we have to generate this ourselves with our solar panel, so we need to know exactly how much energy we can spend during each part of the race.

True solar power!

The energy we need to drive is generated by our solar array. This has been custom made for RED Shift by our Electrical Engineers. During the parametrization we also test whether or not our solar panel is working. We look at the angles the sun makes on our solar panel and how much energy is generated from each angle. This is important to know when charging our solar panel after the race day is finished. The solar panel will then be hung on a special standard and then brought under an angle allowing us to charge the panel as much as possible for our next day of racing.

1+1 = The winning strategy

When all the parametrization data has been mapped it will, together with the weather data, be used as input in our strategy model. This allows us to know exactly how much energy is generated by RED Shift and how much is used during the race. With this information we can determine the best strategy to be the first ones to finish in Adelaide!

Wisdom Wednesday recap:

  • The parametrization of RED Shift is done on a banked circuit, where we can perform different tests.
  • Parametrization is: knowing exactly how much energy you are using and how much you are generating
  • Together with the data from the weather station this determines our winning strategy!

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