The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is an amazing, biennial competition which sees teams from across the globe competing to traverse Australia north to south, starting in Darwin, with a finish line in Adelaide. 40 teams from 30 different countries traverse 3022 km in vehicles powered by the sun’s rays.
The BWSC offers the chance for universities such as Australian National University and Cambridge, as well as technological institutions and private enterprises such as MIT and Volkswagen to pit themselves against one another and the elements.
Innovation thrives on competition, and this is a fantastic manner in which to bring attention to the solar energy industry, as well as push it forward to new horizons. This is just one of the reasons why we’re proud to sponsor the Australian National University team in Canberra.
The ANU Team
One hundred percent student run, they have the mission to take first place and win the Solar Challenge by 2025 and we believe they really could do it. Marking an amazing milestone for Australian solar energy research.
During the 2019 BWSC, the ANU team entered the MTAA SuperCharge 2, their second car to enter the competition. Taking lessons from their previous vehicle, the SuperCharge 2 completed the race with only minor issues, and was able to travel an impressive 1500 kilometers using only solar energy. The car used SunPower Maxeon cells, a panel brand we are proud to offer today, which have been used in a variety of amazing projects, including projects run by NASA.
Able to reach speeds as high as 130 km/h, and weighing only 270 kg, even if the SuperCharge 2 did not win the competition it is an amazing example of what solar vehicles can achieve and could become in the future.
Just as the MTAA SuperCharge 2 did with its predecessor, we’re sure the vehicle the ANU team bring to the next event will have used the lessons the SuperCharge 2 and it’s creators taught them to build something even better, and get that one step closer to taking gold.
And we’ll be proud to be right beside them as one of their sponsors for the next race, whenever global conditions should allow it to occur. Until then, we’ll be excited to see what other new solar technologies arise around the world.
Sadly, for the foreseeable future, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has been cancelled due to the restrictions and difficulties put in place by COVID-19. Though unfortunate, this was the only option left to the organisers.
Currently, a more local challenge is being organised to take place when state borders allow. We’re sure the ANU team will do fantastic when this challenge does take place. More than that, it will be a fantastic testing ground to help them perform even better when the BWSC is able to get back underway.