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Racing with Renewable Energy: Adelaide University Shines in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

CGP - AUSRT 905 x 428

In a testament to innovation and sustainable engineering, students from the University of Adelaide recently undertook the ultimate solar-powered adventure across the Australian Outback.

With the support of our Community Grants program, the Adelaide University Solar Racing team embarked on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,000-kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide in October 2023, showcasing their custom-designed solar vehicle, Lumen II.

The Adelaide University Solar Racing team, led by Ruby Allen, is comprised of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering students, many of whom are in their final year of study.

The team meticulously designed, engineered, and crafted the Lumen II, which presented a challenging design cycle – having to modify a previously built car to meet tough new regulations. 


  Adelaide University Solar Racing team in Darwin on the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, with their custom-designed solar vehicle, Lumen II.

Picture: Adelaide University Solar Racing custom-designed solar vehicle, Lumen II.


Expressing gratitude for the grant, Ruby shared, “Without the help of our generous sponsors such as SA Power Networks, the Lumen II solar car and AUSRT would not have been able to participate in the 2023 BWSC after coming out of a difficult pandemic and complete rebuilding of the team.” 

Ruby Allen reflected on the team's journey, stating, "The Lumen II traversed a gruelling 1300 kilometres across the Australian Outback, overcoming challenges such as bushfires, strong headwinds, and smoggy skies."

"The challenging conditions made it difficult for the Lumen II to generate adequate solar power, which led to the car running out of battery in Ti Tree, Northern Territory. The AUSRT decided to load the car onto the trailer and take the Lumen II back to Adelaide safely."

Despite these challenges, the team finished 17th out of 28 competing teams worldwide. This accomplishment has fuelled their ambition, and they are now setting their sights on the 2025 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, where they plan to design and build a brand-new solar-powered car.

Community Grants Program

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