As solar cars from around the world prepare to leave Darwin this morning for the official start of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, South Australia’s only competitor, the TAFE SA Solar Spirit III is ready to take on its biggest challenge yet.
The biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge sees solar cars from across the world participate in the 3,000 kilometre quest from Darwin to Adelaide.
TAFE SA has been a part of the Challenge since 2000, with the design of their car, Solar Spirit III, evolving this year. Modifications have been made to meet new technical regulations, as well as an additional challenge set by the TAFE SA staff and student design team to build a car at the lowest cost using everyday technology and parts available to the wider community.
Participating in the event’s inaugural Michelin Cruiser Class, the design and build of the car forms part of student’s core curriculum work with around 100 TAFE SA Electrical, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering students having worked on the project, from initial planning and design stages to construction and testing.
TAFE SA Senior Educational Manager Greg Bassani said the Solar Spirit III team were looking forward to starting the event.
“Solar Spirit III will be competing against cars built by overseas universities, many with large research and development budgets – but we are in a different class having built this car recognising what we could achieve practically.”
“The planning, design and construction of this car with off-the-shelf components has taught our students practical skills that are transferable, and we hope encourage them to be self-reliant in future employment.”
“From the initial design and planning, to building the car and testing, the Challenge is something we’ve been working towards for some time so we’re very excited about starting the trek from Darwin to Adelaide!