Technical partner Hanergy allowed to gather energy in free practice.
Aston Martin Racing and technical partner Hanergy Thin Film Power trialed the team’s first solar technology project yesterday at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Sao Paulo.
The project, aimed at using energy from the sun to help power auxiliary systems on the V8 Vantage GTE, was announced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year. Following a close working partnership between the two engineering experts, the technology was trialed in free practice one ahead of the six-hour race.
“The idea behind the solar technology project is to help develop and demonstrate the potential of the Hanergy thin film photovoltaic panels for use on both race and road vehicles,” explains Dan Sayers, Technical Director at Aston Martin Racing. “The electricity generated by the cells can then be used to power auxiliary systems, for example the air conditioning system, that currently consume power from the engine.”
The thin film solar panels, designed and manufactured by Hanergy Thin Film Power, have been on the roof of the #97 Vantage GTE for the last four rounds of the WEC while the team developed the technology back at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, UK.
At the iconic Interlagos Circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the engineering team connected the panels and began collecting valuable data required to move the project forward during the winter months.
First time active
“This test was the first time that the system has gone active and it was a great success which is a testament to the Hanergy product and support,” explains Sayers. “We hope to have the system operating fully in the 2015 WEC.”
After the session, Jason Chow, Vice President of Hanergy Holding Group commented: "We are very excited to see the #97 Vantage GTE has its roof with Hanergy's high-efficiency flexible module. This integration will have meaningful impact both on racing cars and road cars of the future."