Aston Martin has been called many things for keeping their Le Mans race cars purely gas powered compared to many of their competitors who use diesel or hybrids. The racing circuit is extremely balanced and has been for years, meaning that the need for increased diversity in technology is a must-have from every angle.
They might still be using gas and propelling their cars the old-fashioned way, but an incredible innovation with solar technology might be enough to give them a big advantage, particularly on hot days. They didn’t build a solar powered car. According to NJ Aston Martin, they installed a solar powered air conditioning unit.
Before you laugh or wonder how that could be an advantage, one should consider the amount of power that is sapped from an engine when it powers the air conditioner. It’s a good amount in standard cars. On a hot racing surface driving for a sustained race, this power-saver might just be enough to push them to the top. Of course, on cooler days, it might not be that big of a deal. Still, it’s an interesting spin on racing innovation.
Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Aston Martin Racing Joins Hanergy in Solar-Powered Project
Le Mans, 13 June 2014 – Banbury, 13 June 2014 – Aston Martin Racing has signed a partnership agreement with solar technologies experts Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group, in a project exploring how the sun’s energy can be used to improve race car performance at the pinnacle of sportscar racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), starting with the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend (14-15 June).
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