FIA World Endurance Championship rules dictate that, competing racing cars must be equipped with an air-conditioning unit, to keep the drivers cool during the long races. The extra effort the engine produces to operate the AC reflects poorly in the fuel consumption, and engine efficiency. Luxury car manufacturer and competing team, Aston Martin, have found a very simple solution to this problem; Solar Energy.
The company will be installing ultra thin solar panels on the roof panels of their racing cars, which will be able to independently power the AC unit, saving fuel and improving the engine’s efficiency. This will be improving lap times by decreasing the refuelling pit stops, and by ensuring that the energy produced by the engine is going to the wheels.
The system will not be implemented in time for the Le Mans race, but will instead be put in action in the Austin race, where the panels can be tested by the harsh Texas sun.