STMicroelectronics powers two solar cars in World Solar Challenge

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STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor company, announced it is offering technology to solar cars participating in World Solar Challenge.

The World Solar Challenge is set to kick-off on Sunday, and this year two cars are being powered by technology from STMicroelectronics.

Stanford Solar Car “Luminos” and Onda Solare “Emilia 3” are using the technology delivered by STMicroelectronics.

The Stanford Solar Car Project, a non-profit group comprised entirely of students at Stanford University, selected the STM32 F4 series of microcontrollers for use on the 2013 Luminos solar car.

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The solar car uses dozens of ST microcontrollers to monitor battery life and solar-panel efficiency and to control the electric motor and driver-control functions – key factors to completing the race across the harsh Australian Outback.

Italian-based team Onda Solare, comprised of technicians, students and professionals working in the alternative mobility and clean-energy fields, are also using STMicroelectronics’ components in their 2013 solar-car entry.

Their solar car – the Emilia 3 – utilizes ST’s SPV1020 interleaved DC-DC boost converter that uses an embedded Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm that maximizes the power generated by photovoltaic panels on the car, independent of temperature and the amount of solar radiation captured as the car changes directions with respect to the sun.

The Emilia 3 also uses the SPV1001 cool bypass switch to reduce power loss and improve efficiency of the energy coming from the solar panels.

“Both the Stanford Solar Car Project and Onda Solare have chosen different STMicroelectronics’ parts for their solar-car designs, which demonstrates the diversity of our product portfolio,” said George Vlantis, R&D engineering manager at STMicroelectronics.

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