Feeds

World Solar combatants rev their engines batteries

We who are about to drive salute you

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Drag the dead donkey

First up, beware the Japanese of Tokai University, who took the title in 2009 and are back to defend their crown with an impressively sleek solar beast. We asked Kenjiro Shinozuka (pictured, below), what made the difference between success and failure in a high-stakes solar race.

Kenjiro Shinozuka of Tokai University

He told us: "This year the organisers changed the regulations. We can't use more powerful panels, and everyone is using silicon. This has levelled the playing field. So nine or ten teams have almost the same performance. The most important day is tomorrow: the first day. If anyone makes a small mistake it could be come a big problem."

Pitched against the might of Japan is the University of Michigan, whose truly tremendous trailer has raised a few eyebrows here in Darwin. Pilot Troy Halm (pictured) said the World Solar Challenge is the world's most competitive solarcar endurance event and that the team is here to win the race, after ending in third place a frustrating three times in a row.

Troy Halm of the University of Michigan

The Michigan car is performing "very, very well," he says. "We have spent countless hours in optimizing the car. It is extremely light and extraordinarily efficient."

Regarding the trailer, he laughed and invited us to take a look see. You can see the interior in our upcoming vid, but suffice to say, it's the USS Nimitz on wheels. In fact it is almost as big as a U2 green room trailer.

No matter how big your trailer, you've still got to beat the Dutch, in the form of Nuon and their Nuna6. The five-times champions are back in Australia to regain their crown, and although we missed their car trials down at the Hidden Valley Motor Sport Complex track, we were able to catch up with some of the team experts at their luxury apartment complex close to the centre of Darwin.

Willem Zwetsloot (pictured right, below, with, Mike Hoogstraten centre, and Noud Brasjen) declared: "We want the title back, so the pressure is on again. Our focus this year is on the reliability of the car. In previous years we have seen many cars breaking down and that is costly. We are battling very hard for first place and we see Tokai and Michigan as the big contenders. But many other teams experienced in the silicon class are here - we will see what happens."

Nuon team members pose for the camera

The Heart of Lightness

The front page of today's newstastic NT NewsWe will indeed. Tomorrow, teams and media will assemble in the centre of Darwin for a quick photo call before heading off into the dusty heart of Oz. Expect updates as and when conditions allow, and for our bootnotes fans, I leave you with today's front page of the NT News, which leads with the quite remarkable story of the 13-year-old lad who was not unreasonably pulled by the local Boys in Blue while towing a donkey carcass behind a 4x4.

This being Oz, he also had a firearm on the passenger seat, although he mercifully wasn't cracking one off and toking on a fat spliff when officers swooped.

As of right now, we have two heartfelt wishes: to arrive safe and sound in Adelaide; and if we do perish on the highway, not to feature on the front page of the NT News. Check our Twitter thingy to see if we're still alive, and therefore, non-newsworthy. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.