Durham University solar car takes on World Solar Challenge

Aug 11, 2011

Students will be setting off on a sun-powered adventure this autumn when the Durham University Solar Car (DUSC) takes part in the World Solar Challenge.

Using nothing but solar power, the DUSC team will travel 1,864 miles (3,000km) from Darwin in the north of Australia to Adelaide in the south.

The Durham car is due to be shipped from Southampton to Australia in mid-August after taking part in endurance testing in the UK. The race, which will involve solar powered cars from across the globe, is scheduled to take place between October 16 and 23.

The vehicle, which can reach speeds of up to 60mph, has been built from the ground up at Durham University, with key elements such as the in-wheel drive motor and flexible solar panels, developed as student research projects.

The latest DUSC team, which will be heading to Australia later this year, includes Steve Wilson, Ben Derrick, John Wilson, Andrew Thurman, academic advisor Dr David Sims-Williams and drivers Richard Flint and Alexandra Reevey.

Dr David Sims-Williams, academic advisor to the project from the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, at Durham University, said: "The World Solar Challenge pushes teams to develop high-efficiency vehicles, which is the real key to reducing the emissions of everyday vehicles. These cars have to be able to drive at highway speed all day with less power than an electric kettle.

"The students have led the project and it will be a tremendous experience for them to put what they have learned at Durham into practice against some of the best solar cars in development when they take part in the competition."

The car previously took part in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge when it was the only UK entrant in the 2,400 mile (3,862km) race from Dallas to Calgary. The team were named "Top Rookie Team", as the highest placed new team. DUSC alumnae are now working in a range of industries including aerospace, rail and Formula 1, as well as in the automotive sector.

Team Member John Wilson said: "In a world where the environment is at the forefront of global debate and vehicle emissions are paramount, DUSC is designing a vehicle with not just zero emissions, but an unlimited mileage range.

"We are looking forward to the challenge."

Explore further: Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

More information: www.dur.ac.uk/dusc/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mirror technology propels 2007 U-M Solar Car team

Oct 15, 2007

Mirrors hold the hopes of the 2007 University of Michigan Solar Car Team. The storied student organization with more than 100 members has a potentially game-changing car design for the upcoming Panasonic World Solar Challenge, ...

Sleek new MIT solar car heads to the races

Feb 25, 2009

MIT's Solar Electric Vehicle Team, the oldest such student team in the country, has just finished construction of its latest high-tech car and will be unveiling it to the public this Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. ...

Japanese solar car leads race Down Under

Oct 26, 2009

Japan's Tokai Challenger was on Monday leading a solar car race across the harsh Australian Outback, having covered about half of the 3,000 kilometre (1,860 mile) desert course, officials said.

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jmaximus
not rated yet Aug 14, 2011
Every hybrid car should be covered with thin solar cells to recharge the batteries while parked. A 100% solar car is not likely ever going to make it for public use.

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...