Solar cell race car sponsorship sees Seaward power ahead

Electrical test and measurement company Seaward is racing ahead after announcing a new deal to sponsor the development of a solar powered electric race car.

The Peterlee company is linking-up with Sweden’s Chalmers Solar Team in a move that will see it provide a PV200 solar PV installation tester as part of a Gold level sponsorship and vehicle branding package for the 2023 season.


It is the first commercial tie-up of its kind for Seaward and comes as Chalmers finalises its plans for the forthcoming Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – the world's largest solar cell car competition.

Taking place every two years, the event will feature dozens of solar cars racing more 3000 kilometres between the Australian cities of Darwin and Adelaide this October. Each vehicle is being engineered, built and driven by teams from schools and universities from across the globe, including the Chalmers Solar team based in Gothenburg.

The project’s design and engineering team are set to use the portable multi-function PV200 to check and assess the performance of each 100V capacity solar panel used to power the car. These are being mounted on an aerodynamic vehicle chassis and will be comprehensively tested to ensure they are safe to use and perform to their maximum capacity.

The cells selected for the project have been specifically designed to be used by top solar racing teams and can produce an extra 25% - 35% more power when compared to conventional panels.

The sponsorship supports Seaward’s ambition to develop further its presence in the global PV solar sector and comes on the back of a new sustainability push for the Group.

Christopher Coates, business development manager – solar at Seaward, said the initiative links the company to the renewables sector and comes as it continues to develop its global solar test solutions.

“We wanted to share and support Chalmers’ ambitions to drive innovation in the solar cell sector and so were keen to help them out for the forthcoming season with our testers. They are at the leading-edge of technology in their sector and appreciate that sponsorship deals like this are critical for their development and progress. We wish them the best of luck in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.”

Founded in 2018, Chalmers is a student driven, non-profit project that works to improve sustainable mobility through solar powered electric cars.

Avanish Raj, electrical lead at Chalmers Solar Team, said: “We are very grateful to Seaward and we can’t overstate how important relationships like this are to the success of our plans. It’s a massive help; we’re delighted to have a brand leader feature on our car and look forward to using the PV200 and seeing the relationship blossom through what we anticipate to be a successful racing season.”

Combining accurate I-V curve analysis with essential electrical testing and using a push button operation, the battery-operated multi-function PV200 undertakes all the electrical commissioning tests required by IEC 62446. These include open circuit voltage, short circuit current, maximum power point voltage, current and power, and insulation resistance.  

Alongside the electrical tests, the instrument can also perform I-V curve measurements in accordance with IEC 61829 to determine if the measured curve deviates from the expected profile, highlighting the need for any further analysis or fault finding. The fill factor of PV systems can also be assessed. The PV200 forms part of a comprehensive range of Seaward solar PV testing equipment. More at

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