The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge— a 3022 km race throughout main Australia, travelling at highway speeds utilizing less power than a hairdryer; with over 50 groups from 24 nations contending it is quickly the biggest and most amazing Solar race on the planet. We headed out as a group of 16 engineers from Durham University to race our solar energy race vehicle that we ‘d been developing for 2 years. Needless to state, we were all delighted!
The race itself started on the 13 October, however the groups have 2 weeks in the pits of Hidden Valley racetrack to make last changes and evaluate the vehicles on the track. In this time, you form a strong bond with all the other groups from around the globe, switching spanners, merges, and technical competence. It might be a competitors however there’s an excellent sense of sociability in between everybody, all of us share the exact same extremely specific niche pastime after all! We got on especially well with the groups from Minnesota, Tafe South Australia, and Halmstad University!
The day prior to the race starts, everybody needs to do a.
certifying lap to identify their beginning position for the race– it’s a huge.
occasion with members of the general public concerning enjoy everybody race around the.
track. We positioned 15 th in certifying out of the 50 approximately groups, so we.
were feeling chuffed with ourselves! The genuine experience started the following.
early morning, as the vehicles triggered from Darwin City center to start the 3022 km journey.
The race itself is a continuous juxtaposition of dull, limitless.
driving through the desert with high adrenaline overtakes of road-trains. For.
the uninformed, a road-train is a big truck bring about 4 times the quantity.
that a UK truck would– they often wind up 50 m long!
The guidelines of the race enable you to drive in between 8 am and 5 pm every day, suggesting anywhere you are at 5 pm is where you need to pick up the night, in the middle of the Australian desert. This indicates that the group needs to be totally self-dependent to camp every night, investing each night with absolutely nothing however flat desert for numerous miles, and billions of stars is an emphasize of the journey!
We kept a constant 15 th location throughout the race, making our method in between the 9 control stops spread throughout the path. Nevertheless, at the end of the penultimate day, we made a quite extreme discovery– our evaluation for state of charge was entirely off and had actually been for the whole race. While at first discouraging, we took it on the chin and gotten ready to take the last day by storm. With ample charge in the pack, we had the ability to drive at 80 kph for practically the entire day, surpassing a Swiss group to take 14 th location!
At 5 pm on Friday 18 October, we reached kilometre 2830 where we took this picture– simply 180 km shy of the goal.
This picture holds more feeling than I might perhaps take into words, it’s the conclusion of 2 years of effort and devotion from simply a handful of fantastic young engineers. Regardless of not making the complete range, as the sundown over the horizon lighting up the variety one last time, we were all smiling– pleased with what we had actually accomplished.
Durham University Electric Motorsport (DUEM) is the UK’s longest running solar vehicle group. Established in 2002 the 50- strong group is totally run and led by trainees beyond academically extensive degrees.
To get more information about Engineering or other courses at Durham order a prospectus here