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On The Rise: Sikat II Set To Streak To The Sun

By Jason Marges - on 08 Aug 2011, 5:25pm

Let’s take a quick detour from our regular 3Cs banter and talk about another “C” that we’re sure a lot of you out there are also very interested in – cars. This piece focuses on not just any car, mind you, but on one that should still appeal to our inner future-minded geek…

Sikat II was unraveled to the delight of excited members of the media at the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) compound in Balintawak, Caloocan City earlier today.

In case you don’t know yet, today actually marks the official unveiling of Sikat II, the country’s latest solar car. Designed and built exclusively by Filipino students hailing from De La Salle University, Sikat II is poised to burn rubber against participants from 20 other countries in the 3,000km 2011 World Solar Challenge in Australia on October 16-23, 2011.

A testament to Filipinos’ capability and awareness in sustainable technology, the Sikat II project was pioneered by the Philippine Solar Car Society (PSCS) and 22 students and three professors from the Mechanical Engineering and Electronics and Communications Engineering Departments of DLSU-Manila. The project is also supported by First Gen Corporation, First Philec Solar, Energy Development Corporation, and Sunpower Corp.

The key figures behind the Sikat II project, from representatives of the sponsors to the members of Team Solar Philippines, proudly pose with their projection for Sikat II's 2011 finish at the World Solar Challenge.

Sikat II is actually already our third solar car and second entry to the World Solar Challenge. In 2007, the Philippines was represented in the event by SINAG, which actually managed to place 12th among a total of 40 competitors hailing from all over the world. This time around, the team behind Sikat II is aiming for a a top five finish, although the members are confident that they could go all the way, banking on Sikat II’s improved physical and mechanical features which add up to a sleeker and more power-efficient speed machine. With its 2-kilowatt motor, Sikat II can run at a top speed of 110kph.

Asked whether efforts are also being made for developing similar sustainable energy-based means of transportation for commercial use, Mr. Jack Catalan, team leader of Team Solar Philippines, responded that in terms of fully solar power-reliant cars, there’s still a long way to go. Due to the sheer weight and expected load of commercial vehicles, more energy will be required, and thus depending solely on solar power will prove inadequate. Hybrid electrically-powered cars with solar-charging supplements, however, are a more realistic goal that we can aim at.

Despite this outlook, it’s still certainly encouraging to see that efforts are being made towards developing means of harnessing sustainable energy. The fact that we have a team ready and willing to take on representatives from neighboring developing nations and more advanced countries from the other side of the world alike is already something that we could all be proud of. Let’s all hope for the best and give our support for Team Solar Philippines this October!

To close this blog out, here are a few more views of Sikat II for you to enjoy:

This solar car is brought to you by…

A view of the rear part of the car, wearing our colors loud and proud.

All you'll see inside are just the barest of essentials.

A member of Team Solar Philippines shows off what it's like to take the wheel on the Sikat II.

At just 180kg, the Sikat II is the lightest solar car made by Pinoy hands to date, giving its developers ample reason to believe that it's also our fastest entry to the World Solar Challenge yet.

Jason Marges

Jason Marges / Executive Editor, HWM Philippines

A member of the HardwareZone Philippines family since 2006, Jason is the Executive Editor for HardwareZone's print publication, HWM Philippines. Apart from his keen interest in all things high-tech, he is also a huge fan of basketball, pop culture, Internet memes, and free, high-speed Wi-Fi.