04/09: The idea of building a solar car was presented to the university advisory board
02/10: Establishment of Seraaj Team and the Initiation of Wahj 1 Project
23/04: Completion of Wahj 1 Design
30/09: Issuing the first Saudi Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for Wahj 1
06/10: Shipping Wahj 1 to Darwin, Australia
13/10: Assembly Completion of Wahj 1
15/10: Wahj 1 passed all tests and qualification requirements for the race
16/10: Wahj 1 Crossed the Starting line of the World Solar Challenge 2011
22/10: Wahj 1 Crossed the Finish line of the World Solar Challenge 2011
03/01: Wahj 1 arrived safely to Saudi Arabia
15/01: Seraaj Team opened team members registration for Wahj 2 Project
25/02: Seraaj Team Accepted 20 students as full time team members
01/03: Initiation of Wahj 2 Project
26/01: Completion of Wahj 2 Design
03/09: Assembly Completion of Wahj 2
04/09: Shipping Wahj 2 to Sydney, Australia by Air Carrier
23/09: Wahj 2 destroyed in an accident during shipment between Sydney and Darwin
26/01: Initiation of the Third Solar Car Project
27/05: Completion of the Third Solar Car Design
19/06: Seraaj Team became an Independent Entity, After 4 years of support by KFUPM
Lack of knowledge and belief in renewable energy and its applications in Saudi society ignited the idea of establishing Seraaj Team. The team is meant to promote and enrich the culture of volunteering, research, innovation, and renewable energy by implementing an attractive solution for the youth. In September 2010, two students had the idea of building a solar race car; the students transferred their motivation and ambition to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals advisory board and presented their idea. After the idea was approved, the team was formed and a new era of student projects in renewable energy had begun. It’s by far the largest student project in KFUPM and Saudi Arabia. The team was named “Seraaj Team” and the first goal for the first car was to compete in World Solar Challenge, which was in October 2011 in Australia, which was less than a year ahead. Being the first experience together with the time constrain, the team faced difficulties of envisioning, designing, and manufacturing a solar race car in less than a year with little background and experience in the subject.
Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Control Engineers, Computer Engineers and Finance are the five disciplines that the team members consist of, ranging from freshman’s to seniors. In January 2012, the team management opened registration for the second time, 122 students applied to join the second generation of Seraaj Team. Team management accepted 20 Students depending on criteria suggested by senior members. Until now, the team has three generations, the first and the second generations were ran by students and supervised by a professor, while the third generation of the team runs fully by students.
In 2014, Seraaj Team became independent from the university. Although in the past the team only accepted university students since its separation it has opened its memberships for non-university students and university students alike.
In Saudi Arabia, the country of oil, where oil and energy prices are inexpensive, giving fewer chances for other sources for energy to arise. The team was aimed to be a research and training center, and not only limited to build a solar race car.
In October 2011, Seraaj solar car Team participated in the World Solar Challenge in Australia. The opening ceremony presenter described the first solar Car “Wahj” ever manufactured in Saudi Arabia with “From the land of Oil, a Solar Car”. Wahj 1 was successfully tested and passed all the required safety and reliability regulations. So, they allowed Wahj to participate in the race. On the 21st of October, Wahj crossed the race finishing line, ranking 29th out 37 teams and second place on the new comers ranking. Seraaj Team Surpassed teams from well-known universities from USA, UK, South Korea, India and Canada.
During 2012 and 2013, the second generation of the Seraaj team went through the design and manufacturing of Wahj 2. The team was to participate with Wahj 2 in the 2013 World Solar Challenge on October 6th, but unfortunately, was unable to participate due to a shipping accident in Australia that cause Wahj 2 to get fully damaged.
The team has accomplished several achievements both nationally and internationally during its journey which can be summarized as:
Wahj’s energy consumption is nearly 1400 Watts at speed of 80km/h,which is less than the consumption of an electric water kettle; Wahj was able to cross 3000 km of Australian land from North to South.
- Manufacturing Wahj1 and Wahj2, the first Saudi-made car.
- Making Saudi Arabia among car manufacturing countries by issuing the first Saudi Vehicle Identification Number (RS9AS1AS4BM001001).
- The first Arabian team to participate in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.
- Training more than 50 members thoroughly and deeply in different fields of engineering and project management. Members were trained to utilize softwareto design and simulate the car i.e. ANSYS, SolidWorks, EagleCAD. Furthermore, members were also trained to use several machines and techniques like soldiering, building PCBs, welding machines, carbon fiber treatment, and laser cutting machines.
- Cooperating with students in conducting 11 senior engineering design projects at KFUPM.
- Contributing to society by spreading the culture of renewable energy, volunteering & teamwork, research, and innovation by different channels and means.
- The team influenced the society by attending and presenting in 7 conferences, 4 exhibits, 5 TEDx Talks, 11 TV interviews, and many articles in local and regional newspapers and websites.
- Issued two documentaries reaching around 90,000 views on YouTube, these documentaries have also been used in different organizations and schools.
- Acknowledged and sited in different books, articles, and TV interviews concerned with renewable energy, innovation, and student projects.