Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
A SUNSHINE State team is ready to fire in the prestigious 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
Brisbane’s Team Arrow has picked up pole position in the Northern Territory where the 3000km race from Darwin to Adelaide starts today.
The biennial, solar-powered vehicle event has attracted 40 teams from 23 countries.
These include America’s most successful solar team, University of Michigan, the Dutch Nuon Solar team from Delft University and slick Japanese Tokai University crew.
The Queenslanders, tackling the elite Challenger class, are feeling good about their prospects after passing scrutineering and clocking some encouraging time trials.
In their ranks are former members of the student-based SunShark team that placed third in the 1999 race.
Team manager Cameron Tuesley said the 180kg Arrow1 car would showcase Queensland’s technological talent.
He said it had hit 120km/h in latest tests and would average 82-90km/h through the Australian outback using the same power as a toaster.
“It is hugely efficient and very aerodynamic … it looks more like an aircraft,” Mr Tuesley said.
“We have a good car and it will be competitive against teams that have a budget ten times bigger than ours. Some have spent millions,” he said.
Arrow1 was built in southeast Queensland in a collaboration between industry leaders and QUT.
Team Arrow has a 20-strong team, with 12 “on the road” for the race.
Four drivers will be used with the main challenge being the temperature, expected to rise as high as 50C in the cockpit during the day.
The solar challenge is all about energy management.
Cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy and the rest must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.
University of Western Sydney also has a car, Solace, in the Challenger class, while University NSW will enter “eVe” in the Cruiser class.