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The Cyprus Institute Solar Car Challenge 2017

scc 2017 web

* The participation application form and related documents can be downloaded from the links at the bottom of this page






The solar car challenge is organized by the Cyprus Institute and its main objective is to promote the use of renewable energy and hence to raise public awareness on its uses and to stimulate interest and enthusiasm of the participants in physics, engineering as well as design and technology. The participating teams are expected to design and construct a solar car to participate in one of the 2 available categories as shown below:

  • Challenger Class: Cost of the car does not exceed the amount of 20,000 Euros

  • Cruiser Class: Cost of the car exceeds the amount of 20,000 Euros

The teams participating in the event must comply with all the rules/requirements identified in this document. Their acceptance to participate in this event automatically implies their acceptance of the rules. Though safety requirements have been identified in the rules, it is impossible to anticipate all potential safety risks. Ultimately, it is therefore the responsibility of the participating organization to ensure that SAFETY comes first!

The Cyprus Institute maintains the right to modify the rules and regulations at any time. All teams will be notified of any changes and are required to comply.



Nicosia city center: TBA



The event will take place over a two-day period, starting on Saturday, 24th June 2017 and finishing on Sunday, 25th June 2017. The detailed program of the 2 days will be provided at a later stage.

Briefly, the activities to be carried out during this period are as follows:

Day 1 - Solar car scrutineering.
Day 2 - Solar Race



The organizer of the event is The Cyprus Institute, 20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, 2121 Aglantzia, P.O. Box 27456, 1645, Nicosia, Cyprus. Tel: +357 22 208700, Fax: +357 22208625, Web:

Communication - Teams will designate a Project Manager to manage communications with The Cyprus Institute Event Official. Correspondence between the team and the Event Official shall be through the designated individual.



The intent to participate in the event must be formalized by completing the form shown in Appendix A and submitting it to the Cyprus Institute.



The organizers will supply signs that carry event sponsor logos and event numbers. These must be displayed on the solar car at all times and in such a way that they are clearly visible to a person standing 5m from the car.

All participants must display the logo of the Cyprus Institute, and it must be the most visible logo on the vehicle. Teams will also be informed nearer to the time, which other sponsors’ logos will need to be displayed.

All participating team members must wear the t-shirts that will be provided by The Cyprus Institute. Baseball caps will also be provided on the day.



All advertising/publicity produced by teams or their sponsors shall refer to the event organizer as “The Cyprus Institute Solar Car Challenge”. By entering the event, all teams and drivers associated with the event agree to the use of their names and pictures in any publicity materials that may be issued by the event organizer.

The event officials reserve the right to disqualify any team that displays material that it considers to be offensive.



The solar cars will be allocated numbers upon receipt of entry.



As per Paragraph 14.4 herein, any insurance cover shall be the responsibility of the participating teams.



The winning team will make itself available for a press conference if so required. Finishing solar cars shall be made available for public exhibition up to the time of the prize giving ceremony.



Trophies will be awarded to the winners, and runners up. Certificates will be given to all team members that participated in The Cyprus Institute Solar Car Challenge.



Safety – Each team is responsible for the road-worthiness of its solar car. Passing Event components of Scrutineering and or implementing changes suggested in comments on the team’s technical documents does not relieve the team of any liability. All solar cars must be maintained in a safe, road-worthy condition and be operated safely at all times. A team may be disqualified and withdrawn from the Event at any time if it is judged to be operating in an unsafe manner.

Each team is responsible for the safety of its members, and any minimum criteria specified by the Organizers via these regulations and/or correspondence between the teams and the Organizers should not be construed as design specifications for the construction of a “safe” solar vehicle. These regulations represent a minimum requirement in terms of safety in the design, fabrication and operation of the solar car.

12.1 Solar Car Dimensions - All solar cars entered shall have the following maximum dimensions: length = 5 meters: height 1.6 meters: width = 1.8 meters. Minimum height is 1 meter. When turning corners, wheels and wheel fastenings may exceed these dimensions. Fins, antennas, and other aesthetic components may not be used to meet the minimum height requirement. Antennas may extend above the maximum height requirement.

12.2 Structure - Safety must be the primary concern with regard to the structural development and fabrication of the solar cars. Insufficient regard for structural safety will result in disqualification from the event during scrutineering.

12.3 Stability - To ensure stability under various road conditions, the solar car must employ either a three or four wheel design. Either the front or rear wheel(s) or both may be powered, and either the front or rear wheel(s) may be used to steer the solar car.

12.4 Roll Bar - The roll bar is the structural frame member that extends above the driver’s head, protecting the driver in the event of a roll-over. All solar cars must be equipped with a roll bar that is welded to the frame. The roll bar tubing must have a minimum outside diameter of 5 cm and a minimum thickness of 1.5 mm of carbon steel. For aluminum, the minimum thickness shall be 3.2 mm.

12.5 Body of the Solar Car - Although wind shields are required, solar cars need not have a body or covering unless the CyI officials determine that the driving of the solar car poses a safety risk to the driver.

12.6 Electrical Propulsion Power - At the start of the race, the only means of charging the batteries shall be through the solar panel. Regenerative braking systems are permitted. Charging of batteries via electricity is permitted until the start of scrutineering.

12.7 Main Battery Type - In the interest of cost, safety, and standardization, only sealed rechargeable, commercial production, lead-acid batteries are permitted. The total battery mass shall not exceed 65kg.  There is no limit applied to the system voltage or number of cells.

12.8 Supplemental Batteries - Supplemental batteries may be used to power solar car accessories, such as radios, electronic speedometers, cameras, memory devices, computers (only if used for data collection), telemetry systems. The supplemental batteries may also be used to power turn-signal indicators and horn. Under no circumstances may the supplemental battery be used to power the motor.

12.9 Electrical Shock Hazards - All conductors must be properly insulated. All conductors operating at greater than 36 volts must be marked with “High Voltage” warning signs. This shall also apply to the solar array. All electrical terminals must be appropriately insulated to prevent accidental shorts.

12.10 Electrical System Grounding - The main battery pack used for the propulsion system, may not be grounded to the solar car’s frame.

12.11 Solar Array - The solar array may be configured in any way, provided that the size of the array fits within the maximum dimensions of the solar car. When stationary, the solar array may have any orientation and may exceed the maximum height of the solar car. To position a solar car’s array in a favorable position for charging, an umbilical cord may be used. This cord must be carried on the solar car.

12.12 Braking - Solar cars shall be capable of meeting the following requirements:
Low speed - At 30 km/h, the driver must be able to bring the solar car to a safe, controlled stop in no more than 2.5 seconds.
High speed - At the maximum solar car’s speed, the driver must be able to bring the car to a safe, controlled stop without drifting out of the appropriate lane of travel, and within a reasonable time frame based on the car’s maximum speed.

12.13 Turning Radius - Solar cars must be able to make a U-turn in a 15 meter wide lane.

12.14 Lighting - Solar cars must have stoplights, front and rear turn indicators, and hazard lights visible from 30 meters away. All of these components must be powered by the main battery.

12.15 Audible warning - Solar cars must have the capability of providing an audible warning through the use of a horn. The horn must be sounded when a solar car attempts to overtake and pass another car. The horn must be powered by the main battery

12.16 Safety belts - The use of safety belts is mandatory for all drivers. The minimum standard is that belts shall be commercially manufactured lap and harness type (3 point) safety belts, installed and attached to provide adequate driver restraint in the event of a collision or vehicle roll over. Anchorages must be designed and installed in accordance with sound engineering practice.

12.17 Driver Cockpit - The driver’s cockpit may not subject the driver to excessive strain during normal operation, and must be designed to protect the driver from injury in the event of an accident. The driver must be provided adequate space for safe operation of the vehicle. The space available for the driver’s legs must be confined within the solar car structure – there should be no access for the driver to put their legs on the road.

12.18 Windshield - All solar cars shall utilize windshields at all times to protect the driver from road hazards.

12.19 Main Fuse - A separate fuse shall be placed in series with the main battery. The fuse’s rating shall not exceed 200% of the maximum expected current to be drawn. Low voltage taps from the main battery shall be separately fused. All fuses must be placed first in series with the battery starting at the positive connection.

12.20 Array and Battery Disconnect - The solar charging system and the battery pack shall be equipped with separate manually operated high current switches to quickly disconnect them from the rest of the system. These switches must be capable of carrying and interrupting the peak currents expected. Both switches must be clearly labeled as “Array Disconnect” and “Battery Disconnect” accordingly and must be easily accessible to the driver.



13.1 Pushing - Solar cars may be pushed only under the following conditions: (1) Into and out of the required impound: (2) After the team is off the race track; and (3) When there is a breakdown on the race track.

13.2 Towing Hardpoint – Solar cars must be equipped with a hardpoint where an appropriate rope or strap may be attached in order to tow the car for emergency recovery purposes. The hardpoint must be either securely attached to or part of a nonmoving structural component. The hardpoint or access to the hardpoint may be covered while not in use. The hardpoint must allow the car to be pulled with the body installed on the car; however the canopy may be removed.

13.3 Maintenance - Solar cars can be repaired and maintained at any time during the day except when in the impound. Any component of the solar car may be changed or repaired with the exception of the solar cells, solar modules or battery packs.

13.4 Overtaking - Situations will arise when a slower solar car will need to pull over when being overtaken by faster-moving solar car. Failure to pull over, or recklessly pulling out into the path of a passing solar car, will result in disqualification. The faster-moving car should indicate its intention to overtake by sounding its horn.

13.5 Helmets - Drivers must wear a helmet whilst participating in the event. The helmet must meet or exceed the motorcycle standards. If necessary, helmets can be provided by the event officials.

13.6 Drafting - Drafting by a solar car is not allowed. Solar cars must be no closer than 4 car lengths behind the car in front of them.

13.7 Driver Ventilation System - By the nature of the event, it is expected that the temperature inside an enclosed solar car will be uncomfortably high. This should be taken into consideration and some kind of forced air cooling should be employed.

13.8 Protection Circuitry - All batteries must have protection circuitry appropriate for the battery technology used. Proof is required at Scrutineering that the protection system is functional and meets manufacturer’s specifications. Testing procedures will be provided, and the protection system design should allow for such testing. All measurement leads should be fused or current limited to less than 1 mA for non-isolatable sinks in the measurement circuitry. All protection circuitry should be contained in the battery enclosures: Battery Ventilation System - In an enclosed solar car where the battery pack is inside, an air extraction system should be used to extract any build of undesirable gases.

13.9 Visibility - In the normal driving position, each driver’s eyes must be a minimum of 70 cm above the ground. The driver should have the same degree of visibility as would be expected from a normal car. All solar cars must be equipped with a rear vision system that will allow the driver to see a solar car 15 meters directly behind them. If an electronic system is used, it must operate whenever the solar car is operating.

13.10 Covers and Shields - The solar car’s revolving parts must be suitably covered to prevent accidental contact.

13.11 Battery Pack Support - Any items in the solar car including the battery pack must be firmly secured to the body of the solar car.

13.12 Solar Car Drivers - Each Team must register prior to the solar car inspection, the names of the drivers it intends to use. Unless approved otherwise, the change of driver can only take place at the allotted time slot.Only registered solar car drivers will be allowed to drive in solar cars during the Event. Each team shall have a minimum of two drivers available at all times and may register at most four drivers.

13.13 Each driver should not exceed 30 min of continuous driving. Each driver is only allowed to drive two (2) non-consecutive 30 min periods.



14.1 Time - Solar cars will be inspected to verify their compliance with the requirements on the day preceding the event. Prior to the inspection, all participating teams should have completed and submitted the forms shown in Appendix B, C and D. These forms provide a means by which the teams themselves demonstrate their compliance with the requirements. Failure to submit these forms may lead to disqualification.

14.2 Inspected cars - Solar cars that pass the inspection will be allowed to participate in the event. Solar cars that do not pass the inspection must correct the deficiency in order to be considered for participation in the event. If repairs are made, the team has the responsibility to notify event officials that their solar car is again ready for inspection. Inspections will officially end at this time unless an extension is specifically announced by event officials.

14.3 Safety - Each team is responsible for the road-worthiness of its solar car. Passing the inspection process does not relieve the team responsibility, nor impose any liability on the event organizers. Solar cars must be maintained in a safe, road-worthiness condition at all times.

14.4 Liability - Teams will be required to sign a Release of Liability Form prior to admission to the event.

14.5 Spare Batteries - Any spare batteries a team wishes to utilize for possible replacement during the event must be inspected and tagged during the inspection. Battery replacement would only be permitted under very special circumstances and it is subject to the approval of an event official.

14.6 Braking - Solar cars will be required to meet the braking guidelines set out in Paragraph 12.12. Failure to meet these guidelines will require the team to make the necessary changes to bring their solar car into compliance, and then to be re-tested. Any solar car that does not pass the brake test will not be allowed to enter the event.

14.7 Handling - Solar cars will be required to run through a slalom course, weaving in-between at least six cones spaced approximately 12 m apart, to ensure proper handling when lateral forces are exerted on the frame and wheel assemblies.

14.8 Safety equipment - Each team must demonstrate during inspection that it is prepared to handle emergencies. This includes the designation of a team safety coordinator. The following equipment must be easily accessible to the team: fire extinguisher, traffic cones or warning triangles, flags, and jack stands. Jack stands must be used whenever the solar car is off the ground for maintenance.

14.9 Battery Pack Removal - Once inspection has been completed, a seal will be placed on the battery pack terminals. From there on, no battery pack may be removed from the solar car without written authorization to do so by an event official.

14.10 Battery Pack Charging - Teams may charge their solar car batteries during daylight hours up to the time for impounding their solar cars. Charging of the main battery pack must be done only by direct solar radiation.

14.11 Penalties- Any team failing to comply with these Regulations during Scrutineering, or the Event will be penalized. Penalties range from official warnings to disqualification from the Event. It is the responsibility of the Chief Inspector, with input from the other Inspectors and the Observers, to determine whether a penalty infraction occurred, the severity of the incident, and the appropriate penalty. All time penalties will be submitted by the Chief Inspector to Event Headquarters for subsequent posting. Disqualification of a team from the Event requires concurrence of the Director. Penalties will generally be applied to Total Elapsed Time on the Official Elapsed Time Sheet on stage day or at Checkpoints.


To be confirmed


It is mandatory that all drivers receive training by the track officials prior to the race day. If any driver has not received the relevant training he/she will not be allowed to drive in the race. Each Team will be responsible to arrange for their drivers training with the track officials.

Throughout the duration of the race, the race marshals will use a number of flags to send signals/instructions to the drivers. The drivers are obliged to follow the instructions indicated by each flag at each time.

Yellow Flag – A yellow flag indicates a hazard and drivers are required to slow down and drive carefully when the marshals wave this flag.

Blue Flag – A blue flag indicates to the team shown the flag that a trailing car is trying to overtake them. The car shown this flag by the marshal is obliged to allow the trailing car to overtake.

Red Flag – A red flag indicates that the race is cancelled.

Black Flag – A black flag indicates that the team shown the flag is disqualified.

White Flag – A white flag indicates that the team shown the flag should enter the pits.


The drivers who do not follow the instructions of the marshals, depending on the offence the teams will either be disqualified or issued a time penalty.


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