IT

FERA sponsors Archimedes 2 at Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

A solar-powered car made in association with Futuro Solare of Siracusa.

From the 22nd to the 29th of October 2023 “The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge” took place: a two-year design competition to discover the world’s most efficient solar electric car.

For more than 30 years, brilliant minds have been coming to Australia from all over the world to come up with technological innovations and drive their ‘one-offs’ across the outback, with the future of sustainable transport in mind. The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge welcomes teams, usually made up of university students, who drive 3,000 kilometres, from Darwin to Adelaide, in solar-powered vehicles, thought up, designed, and built with their own hands.

The event features two main classes, Project Challenger (an original ‘classic solar-car’) and CSIRO Cruiser (an advanced concept-car which tests ideas that could one day be commercialised), representing the diversity of solar electric vehicles and different design philosophies. A third class, Adventure, also participated in the competition, which included cars designed for previous events or which might give value to the event itself.

“Archimedes 2” is in the CSIRO Cruiser class, thus a concept car that could make it to the market: a ‘practical’ prototype that can accommodate a minimum of two people and is capable of managing its own energy needs over 1,000 km distances.

The timing of the ship transport, however, did not work in favour of ‘Archimedes 2’, which only managed to arrive the day before the start. As the team were unable to perform tests required by the regulations in time, it found itself ‘unclassified’ (out of 38 teams, only 28 passed the tests).

Nonetheless, the BWSC organisation recognised the intrinsic value of the team that had worked tirelessly from when the solar car arrived in Hidden Valley, enabling the team to participate on the route and reach Adelaide, and to get to know the other participants for future projects.

A unique experience that involved the whole team in a 3000 km journey, across deserts, over long distances and in high temperatures, abandoning any type of comfort.

More information about the project in this PDF.

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