Solar cars use CSIRO motor
A lightweight, highly efficient electric motor from CSIRO sits inside the front wheel of several solar powered racing cars.
7 November 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011
CSIRO originally designed this in-wheel motor for the Aurora 101 solar car.
This particular car raced in three Darwin to Adelaide World Solar Challenges, winning in 1999 and coming second in 2001. Aurora still use CSIRO's motors in today's racers.
This motor achieves 98 per cent efficiency and is generally accepted as the most efficient in solar car racing. It has a low active component weight (6 kg), and a total wheel weight of 14.5 kg (including the tyre).
In-wheel motors used by other teams typically had energy efficiency less than 95 per cent and weighed twice as much -- not including the wheel and tyre.
CSIRO's in-wheel motor is widely regarded as the most efficient in solar racing.
Other features of the CSIRO design were that the motor was no wider than the wheel (to minimise aerodynamic drag) and the motor's light weight enabled a single front wheel to be used, which again minimised aerodynamic drag.
This project was carried out in conjunction with
the University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
Our motors are now widely used by teams competing in the World Solar Challenge.
Read more in In-wheel motor for solar-powered electric vehicles: technical details.