Bridgestone world solar challenge

The Bridgestone world solar challenge is a race held every 2 years, that sees solar powered cars battle to be the first placed on a journey from Darwin to Adelaide, based on speed, energy efficiency, design and practicality. In this 3000km race through the Australian outback, cars are powered only by the sun and kinetic energy recovered from the vehicle.

The event was pioneered to promote research on solar-powered cars and teams from universities and corporations worldwide take part. As technology evolves, teams aim to balance solar power resources with power consumption to achieve the optimal driving conditions. Cars travel along public roads so they have to abide by normal traffic regulations and race between 8am and 5pm.

October 2015 saw the 12th challenge since the event first took place in 1987. Over 8 days, 46 teams from twenty five countries set out to showcase their solar powered cars. The competition was won by the Nuon Solar team from Delft University of Technology in Holland, with their 150kg car - the Nuna8. The car used TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fibre for reinforcement which helped reduce the weight of the car by 10kg compared to its predecessor, and made it the lightest car competing.

Nuna8 winner of 2015 Bridgestone world solar challenge

The event continues to evolve as more advanced ways of harnessing sustainable solar energy are developed. And in this year’s event, a team of students from Ardingly College in Sussex, UK became the first ever school to compete, highlighting the importance of sustainable energy for the next generation.