Erika Belchamber said: "In the race, the system ensures we travel the maximum distance each day with the available amount of light, getting the greatest efficiency from the solar energy.
“But equally, you can think of a house with solar panels and a battery as a solar car without wheels, so everything we explore through the race will be applicable for renewable energy use in the wider world.”
The race will begin in Darwin on 13 October and run through central Australia before ending in Adelaide on 20 October. Many of the world's most advanced solar-powered cars participate in the event.
“In commercial applications, by combining this with energy tariff information and availability from different sources, you could tailor the efficiency of the system in different ways, such as to be the most cost-effective for the end user, or to use the most renewables possible.”
The system will be tested on a cruiser class solar car developed jointly by the Australian Technology Network of Universities, a collective including UniSA, Queensland University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, and Curtin University. The car is in the final phases of production at RMIT in Melbourne, with road testing due to begin in June.
The cruiser class category features cars as close to a conventional sedan as possible.
Team leader Professor Peter Majewski said: “It has been fantastic to see how all these different ideas have come together in creating this vehicle.
“It has been a real collaboration, with each university adding its own expertise, and the result is, I believe, more than the sum of its parts, with the sharing of ideas driving innovation in the design.
“We are all very excited to get it on the road. I think the end result is something we can all be proud of.”