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September 7, 2009

Construction Completed on Tokai University’s Solar Car Equipped with Sharp Solar Cells

For Use in One of World’s Largest Solar Car Races

Press Release

Construction has been completed on Tokai University’s solar car equipped with Sharp solar cells boasting the highest level of conversion efficiency in the world.* A team from Tokai University will use this solar car in the Global Green Challenge, one of the world’s largest solar car races, to be held from October 24 to 31, 2009.

The solar car category of the Global Green Challenge has vehicles powered only by the sun’s energy traverse the Australian continent for a distance of about 3,000 km. Tokai University drivers will include Kenjiro Shinozuka, who in 1997 became the first Japanese to achieve overall victory in the Paris to Dakar Rally, as well as Tokai University students and alumni.

The “Tokai Challenger” solar car is equipped with Sharp compound solar cells developed for outer space applications. The cells have an output of 1.8 kW and a cell conversion efficiency of 30%, the highest level in the world.

Sharp is the only manufacturer whose solar cells are approved for use by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Sharp will continue pushing forward with R&D on compound solar cells, in addition to crystalline and thin-film solar cells, which are currently Sharp’s main solar power products.

Overview of the Global Green Challenge

Race duration: October 24 to 31, 2009
Race course: Darwin to Adelaide (distance of approx. 3,000 km), Australia
Organized by: South Australian Motor Sport Board (established by the state government of South Australia)
Web site:

Overview of the Tokai University Team

The team, named Tokai University Challenge Center Team, is led by Professor Hideki Kimura, who researches high-efficiency solar cars at the Tokai University School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The team for this year’s race is made up of 19 members, mostly students. The Tokai University Challenge Center Team has crossed the Australian desert three times—in 1993, 1996, and 2001—for the World Solar Challenge, which evolved into the Global Green Challenge in 2009. In 2008, with Kenjiro Shinozuka as driver, the team participated in the roughly 4,200-km South African Solar Challenge and emerged the overall winner of that race.

* As of September 7, 2009, for practical-application solar cells (Sharp survey).
Press Release

The above information is true and accurate at the time of publication. Manufacture, sale, price and specifications of products may be subject to change.

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