Video: The biannual World Solar Challenge is coming up in a couple of months, and the teams competing in 2017's 3000km-long Adelaide to Darwin challenge intend to complete their journeys on solar power alone. Western Sydney Uni has always been a strong contender, and this year's car looks more impressive than ever.
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The cool little side projects you take on at university can lead to big things. One of the members of Gizmodo's 2013 World Solar Challenge partnership with Western Sydney University has moved to San Francisco to work with Tesla on a secretive engineering project.
Students from UNSW have, for a couple of decades, been developing and refining an extremely specialised solar-powered racing car, made to compete in the long-distance World Solar Challenge. Sunswift's eVe solar car is the fifth incarnation of the solar racer to come out of the UNSW skunkworks since 1996 and, a year ahead of the 2015 Challenge, the team has their sights set on breaking a completely different record.
It’s all about resistance this week, and by that we mean tyres, if you can’t make the car more streamlined or any lighter, you get the best tyres you can so that you minimise rolling resistance; that is the force against the motion of our wheels when they’re moving. You probably know by now that you lose some energy whenever friction is involved, and this is all about minimising that.
New team members, new design, new rules, same determination to win. Meet Gizmodo's World Solar Challenge team SolAce, as they try to build a world-beating solar car to race down the inhospitable spine of Australia and beat out better funded teams from Europe, the US and their own backyard. This week: how does a system designed for weapons development help our team create a world-beating Solar Car?
It's Saturday morning and a winter fog clings to the hilly paddocks at The University of Western Sydney's Kingswood campus. Inside block Z, a team of 25 engineering and industrial design students, alumni and multi-disciplined volunteers are building a solar-powered car from scratch. Come October 2013, in stark contrast to weather outside, they hope to race it from Darwin to Adelaide in the next World Solar Challenge. But before the team negotiates the desert, road trains, bush fires and better funded competition – they face immediate design and funding challenges. This is their story, and Gizmodo is along for the ride.