Solar Helps Power New Electric Motorcycle Speed Record

The Lightning SuperBike set an electric motorcycle land speed record a few days ago, with help from a mobile solar power unit featuring SMA Sunny Island inverters.

The motorcycle attained a speed of just over 304 kilometres per hour at El Mirage Lake in California’s Mojave Desert; blasting past the previous record of 273 kilometres per hour.

The Lightning SuperBike features a IPM liquid cooled 125kw+ 10,000 rpm motor and a 370V 12kwh battery pack. It has a usable freeway speed range of over 160 kilometres and a combined city and highway range of over 240 kilometres. The street-legal version of the bike starts at around USD$38,000.

“This event is a testament to how far electric vehicle and solar technology has come,” said Henry Dziuba, president and general manager of SMA America. “It is a thrill to see solar energy powering record-breaking vehicles, and it was a pleasure working with Lightning Motorcycle and DC Solar Solutions to achieve this great goal.”

DC Solar Solutions’ mobile solar generators are produced in 5, 10 and 20kW power capacities; providing a clean power alternative for off-grid applications such as providing electricity at remote construction sites.  The company’s mobile solar arrays are also being used in the Solar Sandy project, which is bringing power to some New York residents still without electricity after the storm.

The Sunny Island is SMA’s battery-based inverter charger for off-grid and backup power applications. Solar and wind energy systems, diesel generators, hydro power or CHP (Combined Heat and Power) can be modularly integrated in a large off-grid system using the devices.

SMA is probably best known in Australia for their solar inverters, which are used in thousands of home solar power systems. The world’s largest manufacturer of these devices, over 3 gigawatts of SMA solar inverters are installed globally and the company employs over 5,000 people on four continents in fifteen countries