11/10/2019 by Kvaser

Kvaser helps Swedish university race contender on its solar travels

Kvaser helps Swedish university race contender on its solar travels

Travelling the 3022 km by road between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia in a car powered by the sun is not for the faint-hearted. Whilst a road trip from the tropical North to the Mediterranean-like South of the island guarantees generous quantities of solar energy, the journey takes in some of the most barren territory on Earth, providing conditions that test the limits of both cars and drivers. The 2019 edition of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the 15th time in the competition’s 30-plus year history that the route has been chosen.

Among 2019’s contenders are the JU Solar Team from Jönköping University, in Sweden. The JU Solar team are seasoned competitors, having participated in the solar challenge for a number of years and won a best result of 8th place last year. However, with 49 teams qualified to race so far in 2019, almost 30 of which will participate in the Challenger category whereby candidates are judged on speed to the finish line (rather than the Cruiser category which rewards comfort and practicality), the competition is likely to be fierce.

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The right tools for the job

To help test and verify the 2019 car’s Controller Area Network (CAN) systems, Kvaser supplied the team with two Kvaser Leaf Light v2 CAN to USB interfaces. According to Simon Gustafsson, the team’s embedded system engineer:

“The Kvaser Leaf Light v2 has been a key test and verification component for us, together with Kvaser CAN King software and the Kvaser Database Editor. Initially, we used two interconnected Kvaser Leaf Light v2s and the CAN King program to verify that the database we created in the Kvaser Database Editor worked as expected. We were able to easily import the database into Kvaser CanKing to communicate with the engine controller. The JU Solar Team are very pleased with Kvaser’s products, both hardware and software.”

As the purpose of the World Solar Challenge is to stimulate research into sustainable road transport, it functions primarily as a design competition, with the rules evolving each year in a bid to reflect technology evolution and encourage innovation.

We sincerely wish the entire JU Solar Team the best for the race which will be held in October 2019.