2019 will see the 15th crossing of Australia as the teams of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge aim to produce even more impressive results with new or improved sustainable solar-powered electric vehicles. Entries for the event are open and new regulations have been released.

The biennial event will run from October 13 – 20 and cover a distance of some 3,000 kms between Darwin and Adelaide. As the World Solar Challenge has become the world’s foremost solar challenge, many teams have demonstrated new and innovative technology and advanced engineering with their vehicle designs.

During the journey there are 7 mandatory checkpoints where observers are changed and team managers may update themselves with the latest information on the weather, and their position in the field. At checkpoints, teams can perform the most basic of maintenance only – checking and maintenance of tyre pressures and cleaning of debris from the vehicle.

Initial responses have been outstanding with the event receiving an entry from the Australian Technology Network, a group of five universities banding together for the first time. There are three classes to compete in – Challenger Class, Cruiser Class and Adventure Class. The Challenge Class will see vehicles which are visually stunning – slick, single seat aerodynamic masterpieces built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency. A great deal of lateral thinking will be required to meet conflicting needs of maximising the solar collection area, minimising aerodynamic drag, and meeting the other design requirements needed to qualify.

“With the announcement of the 2019 regulations, the teams whose industrial design students are developing their concepts can move forward,” said Event Director Chris Selwood. “Next year’s event sees an evolution of the disruptive changes introduced last event which teams will need to apply to their concepts.”

“With the event increasing its international profile year on year, we are expecting around 45 team registrations from more than 20 countries, and are excited that teams around the world have indicated they are starting to plan their visit to Australia,” he added.

The event is owned and managed by the South Australian Tourism Commission, on behalf of the South Australian Government.

[Chips Yap]

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