The Solgen Energy sponsored student team recently took 4th place at the BWSC in October. We invited them along to our head office, to talk us through the experience of competing there, some of the challenges they faced and what lies in store for the accomplished team.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
Established in 1987, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge was created to drive research into solar powered cars.
Since its conception, the biennial car race spanning 3,022km has brought the brightest minds from 23 countries together to push the boundaries of solar powered cars.
UNSW Sunswift enter the 2015 Cruiser Class challenge
The Cruiser Class challenge was established to “encourage solar cars designed for practicality and acceptance in a given market segment,” with a leading example of this being the four seater family car that participated in the first Cruiser Class challenge in 2013, travelling over 3000kM.
While UNSW Sunswift has entered the World Solar Challenge in previous years, even taking 3rd place in the inaugural 2013 Cruiser Class Challenge, it was a first for every member of the 2015 UNSW Sunswift team.
The brand new team’s experience in this particular racing event, however, was a testament to their preparations and the engineering behind Sunswift’s eVe; not only did the team experience no mechanical problems or setbacks in the harsh environment, in fact it was one of the most energy efficient vehicles in the race, generating 500W in the heat of the day.
Undoubtedly the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge was a great experience for the UNSW Sunswift team, but with a reputation for innovation in engineering the team has already set their sights and goals higher.
The UNSW Sunswift team are known for being best in class, “as the most aerodynamic passenger car in the world, and one of the most energy efficient cars on the planet”, has left a string of broken record in its wake. The logical question is, what’s next for the Sunswift team?
In late 2014, the team set their sights to becoming the world’s first roadworthy solar vehicle, and this dream has nearly been realised. The modifications to eVe to make eVe roadworthy, made possible through Sunswift’s sponsorships and crowdfunding, have been made to government standards; all that’s left to do is wait.
UNSW Sunswift has made the idea of a roadworthy solar vehicle an inevitability, a concept Solgen Energy can proudly get behind.
All that’s left to say is a big congratulations to the Sunswift’s team. We can’t wait to see what’s next in store for those bright minds.
To read more about UNSW Sunswift, click here.