The World Solar Challenge, a friendly solar-powered car race, takes place every two years in the vast Australian Outback. Often referred to as the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, due to Bridgestone Corporation’s sponsorship, 2015’s race is scheduled for October 18 – 25 and covers an approximate 3,021km from Darwin (North) to Adelaide (South).
The Inception of World Solar Challenge
World Solar Challenge started in 1987 and was sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission. While the event attracts amateurs and professionals alike, the largest group of participants are fielded by technology-related corporations, universities, and tech-students from high schools.
Before World Solar Challenge first edition, Hans Tholstrup, along with Larry Perkins traversed across Australia from west to east riding a home-built solar powered transport, The Quiet Achiever. The success of this quest led to the idea of founding a race competition of sun-powered cars, in which, eventually became the World Solar Challenge. Today, the World Solar Challenge is considered the world championship event of solar vehicle racing.
What Does World Solar Challenge Promote?
World Solar Challenge is a mix of technology, business promotion, and amateur enthusiasm. The friendly competition intends to showcase the efficiency of solar energy and promote energy sustainability.
The challenge not only tests the power limits of solar vehicles but also in pushing their efficiency. The solar capacity of the solar powered vehicles is tested for longevity once their 5kW hour stored energy runs out. Aside from using solar power, the competing vehicles are also encouraged to utilize power recovered from kinetic energy during movement.
World Solar Challenge is a great way to show the world that a solar car possesses the capabilities similar to an everyday vehicle. With continued innovation, solar vehicles could evolve into a primary form of transportation. To learn more, visit www.worldsolarchallenge.org.