UKZN team re­turn with the rev­o­lu­tion­ary Apalis

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

UKZN’s so­lar car will im­press vis­i­tors at the 2015 KZN Industrial Tech­nol­ogy Ex­hi­bi­tion (Kite).

This year vis­i­tors will get to see the Uni­ver­sity of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) rev­o­lu­tion­ary so­lar car, Apalis.

Vin­cent van Erk, se­nior tu­tor in UKZN’s me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment, said that, as a lead­ing uni­ver­sity, it is a great op­por­tu­nity for them to fea­ture Apalis at Kite.

“It gives us the chance to show­case our abil­ity to pro­duce world-class re­search projects whereby we look into green en­ergy so­lu­tions as an al­ter­na­tive to the cur­rent trend of fos­sil fuel-pow­ered ve­hi­cles,” ex­plained Van Erk.

He said it pro­vided a fan­tas­tic plat­form to show­case the tech­no­log­i­cal tal­ents of its me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents.

The car was built by 16 team mem­bers from UKZN’s me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment — in­clud­ing four lec­tur­ers, four post­grad­u­ate and eight un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents.

The UKZN So­lar Car Project, which started in 2001, was a six-year project, the end re­sult of which was a car named Wilde­beest. Un­for­tu­nately, through a lack of fund­ing, the car was never able to com­pete and was benched in 2007.

In 2012 a new group of UKZN staff mem­bers, Kirsty Veale and Clin­ton Be­mont, built on the lessons learnt dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of Wilde­beest, and de­vel­oped a new so­lar car named Apalis.

The sleekly de­signed Apalis, which still holds all the South African records for the Chal­lenger Class, was named af­ter a small bird found in KwaZulu-Natal. Vis­i­tors to Kite 2015 will get the op­por­tu­nity to view this im­pres­sive ve­hi­cle.

UKZN has since de­vel­oped an­other so­lar car, The Hu­lamin — iKlwa, which took part in the 2014 Sa­sol So­lar Chal­lenge, win­ning the South African com­pe­ti­tion and set­ting dis­tance records for the Olimpia Class. The team’s largest industrial spon­sor, Hu­lamin, has pledged funds to al­low the team to take part in the 2015 World So­lar Chal­lenge.

This will be the first year that an African team have ever taken part. The Hu­lamin — iKlwa will be en route to the World So­lar Chal­lenge in Australia.

The pre­vi­ous in­stal­ment of Kite saw more than 5 000 vis­i­tors from South Africa’s industrial tech­nol­ogy sec­tor, in­clud­ing se­nior de­ci­sion­mak­ers, di­rec­tors, man­agers, own­ers, con­trac­tors, en­gi­neers, re­gional gov­ern­ment per­son­nel, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and plan­ners. — WR. • The bian­nual event takes place at the Dur­ban Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre from June 9 to 12. Pre-reg­is­ter at www.kznin­dus­trial.co.za for free en­try.

It gives us the chance to show­case our abil­ity to pro­duce world-class re­search projects whereby we look into green en­ergy so­lu­tions as an al­ter­na­tive to the cur­rent trend of fos­sil fuel pow­ered ve­hi­cles

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.