Powering up for World Solar Challenge

Sep 26, 2019


TAFE SA’s entry in this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the SAV, is on its way to the Northern Territory with a 12-member team.

The solar-powered race, which attracts entries from around the world, sets out from Darwin on October 13 and finishes in Adelaide a week later.

TAFE SA’s SAV (Solar Articulated Vehicle) – a cruiser cab and eight-metre trailer – has been developed with the generous support of sponsor, REDARC Electronics, at Lonsdale.

TAFE SA students and staff as well as students and teachers from St Patrick’s Technical College have been involved in the project, which has taken shape over the past 12 months.

The trailer is a departure from the standard categories of the solar challenge, putting the experimental SAV in a demonstration class.

In 2017, TAFE SA set a precedent by entering the cab of the SAV in the challenge. We’re pushing the boundaries again this year with the addition of the trailer.

The new-look SAV has 15 solar panels on the trailer and one on the cab, while the battery system has been designed by former TAFE SA electronics student Will Farina, who is now an apprentice at REDARC.

Team manager Mark Ready says they wanted to show it was possible to create a fully solar-powered articulated vehicle which could be used for long distance freight haulage.

“The challenge with alternative vehicles is to provide enough energy for them to travel long distances,” he says.

“Our approach was to prove it could be done. We’ve created a solid example of a portable power station.

“It could be used as an alternative to a diesel generator for large rural properties and the design is adaptable for caravan and camping needs.

“We hope it inspires people and helps them see what is possible. It’s an efficient design that people can identify with.”

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge runs from October 13-20.


Image above: The cabin of the SAV in construction phase.
Image top: Some of the crew who have been putting the finishing touches on TAFE SA’s solar articulated vehicle in readiness for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.