The FIA has made a ruling that all World Endurance Championship cars must have A/C that keep the internal temperature between below 32 degrees centigrade or 12 degrees above ambient temperature, so the drivers don't just keel over from heat-exhaustion.
The problem is that A/C takes engine power to run, and nobody is terribly keen to give up power while racing. That's why Aston Martin is partnering with Hanergy Global Solar to test out new thin, light, and flexible photovoltaic panels on the roofs of its race cars. Hanergy said of the partnership “We are interested in developing these for cars, so that, for example, a thin layer of cells can be applied to the roof or rear windscreen to power the air-conditioning or other ancillary functions without affecting the performance of the car or using the fuel or battery source... The engineers at Aston Martin Racing are helping us to apply our technology and eventually to put it to the test in the most extreme of automotive environments.”
It should be interesting to see if this gives Aston an edge in the coming season.
[via Aston Martin]