Adelaide University Solar Racing Team
The Adelaide University Solar Racing Team (AUSRT) was founded in March 2014 when nine final year mechanical engineering students from the University of Adelaide began designing a solar car to compete in the BWSC. The project was then passed on to a new team every year. Lumen was raced in the 2015 BWSC and placed 21st out of 29 competitors in the Challenger Class, but most importantly laid the foundation for future teams from the University. Lumen II was created in 2016 and upgraded through-out the years 2017 to 2019.
In 2019, Lumen II Mk II raced in the BWSC and finished as the top Australian team in the challenger class. This year, 5 students have come on board the team to design a brand-new car, Lumen III, from the ground up with the intention of surpassing the current Lumen II Mk II and compete with the top teams in the 2023 BWSC.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
Founded in 1987, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the world’s toughest solar race, with teams racing solar-powered vehicles from Darwin, down through the centre of the Australian desert, to the finish line in Adelaide in under six days. The race is held every two years in October and provides a platform for the development of sustainable vehicle technologies.
The Adelaide University Solar Racing Team competed in the challenger class in 2015, 2017, 2019 and will be again in 2023. This class has traditionally been dominated by the Dutch, American and Japanese teams, but we are working hard towards becoming the first Australian team to claim victory in years, and along the way develop the most advanced solar car ever constructed in South Australia.
Due to COVID-19 the 2021 BWSC has been cancelled, making the 2023 BWSC the next competition. Instead the team will compete in The Aussie Solar Challenge.
Bridgestone Telemetry Challenge
Due to the cancellation of the 2021 BWSC and Aussie Solar Challenge, Bridgestone is hosting the 2021 Telemetry Challenge in its place. Teams from all over the globe will be driving their cars for five to nine hours a day for two days on a track location of their choice to collect performance data. This data is then submitted to analysts to compare and rank team solar cars on their energy efficiency. The AUSRT has been spending 2021 maintaining and restoring Lumen II Mk II assemblies in preparation for this global challenge.
The Solar Car
The team has designed, developed and validated numerous iterations of the solar car named Lumen.
The team is currently designing and manufacturing Lumen III for the 2023 BWSC. The AUSRT is adopting a monohulled design, optimised for both aerodynamics and solar capture efficiency. The 2020 team developed a new occupant cell to satisfy safety requirements, rear suspension and conducted a detailed aerodynamics analysis.
The 2021 team is developing the front suspension, a new bulkhead, steering and continuing the research into aerodynamic optimisation.