Philippine Solar Car Society launches second RP-made solar car

PNS/ Manila — Following the resounding success of SINAG, the Philippines’ first solar car, the Philippine Solar Car Society now launches SIKAT, proving the Filipino’s capability to lead in solar power technology. The design and construction of the SIKAT solar car was undertaken by a dedicated group of faculty and students from the Mechanical Engineering and the Electronics and Communications Engineering Departments of De La Salle University-Manila, in partnership with the Philippine Solar Car Society, Inc.

“Homegrown Filipino talent is behind every aspect of SIKAT, from its sleek monocoque shell to its dynamically adaptive electrical system. It is positive proof of the Filipino people’s technological capability to develop solar power as a viable source of renewable energy,” said Vince Perez, former Secretary of Energy, and Special Adviser of the Philippine Solar Car Society.

While the success of the SINAG in the solar car-racing world was an example of how the Philippines can stand with the rest of the world in meeting a challenge which requires superior technology and skill, members of the Society believe that they can take the challenge further. This year, the Society supported the development of a worthy successor to SINAG, dubbed SIKAT, the Philippines’ second solar car. While SINAG introduced the Philippine Solar Energy effort to the world, SIKAT aims to make every Filipino aware of the benefits of the use of solar energy, through a series of provincial roadshows that connect it with the general public.

“As SIKAT highlights our ingenuity, our will to lead, our capability for technology, and our commitment to the use of clean, renewable energy, SIKAT also will be a source of great pride for the Philippines,” said Ramon Agustines, Motolite CEO and PSCS Chair, about the group’s initiatives.

“Solar energy is something that is so abundant, especially for the Philippines. We believe solar energy can be the fuel of choice for transportation in the future, but it starts with awareness. Hence this year’s efforts – the songwriting contest, the launch of SIKAT, and the Roadshow across the Philippines — are geared toward making the youth and the general public aware of the benefits of solar technology, and our potential to lead in it, as a nation,” he continued.

The quest to develop clean, renewable energy has taken the top spot on most countries’ agenda today. Being close to the equator, the Philippines has a huge potential for tapping solar technology, one of the cleanest known methods of energy production. While solar cells are currently expensive to manufacture, the cost of solar power is gradually decreasing as the technology improves and becomes more cost-effective to mass produce.

A solar car runs on solar energy converted into electricity by photovoltaic cells. While solar cars are not yet a practical form of transportation today, they have been raced in competitions such as the World Solar Challenge, which promote the development of alternative energy technology such as solar cells.

Both SINAG and SIKAT, Philippine-developed solar cars, have a body made out of carbon fiber in order to be as light as possible to achieve a higher running speed required in competition. The cars’ top surface is covered with solar cells from Sunpower, the highest efficiency commercial solar cells in the world, also manufactured in Laguna, Philippines, and exported to other countries. SIKAT will be on display on Wednesday, December 16, at the Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

SIKAT is set to travel across the Philippines, starting January, making history one more time for the proponents of solar technology. Partnering with the PSCS are their sponsors, De La Salle University, Ford Motor Company Philippines, Motolite, Pilipinas Shell and Sunpower.