Here comes the sun car
University of Brighton experts have helped develop a solar-powered car.
Built by students from Ardingly College and Ifield Community College in West Sussex, the vehicle has been shipped to Australia where it is taking part in a 3,000 kilometer outback challenge.
Dr Daniel Coren, Senior Lecturer in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, said: “We have been helping in an informal consultancy capacity for a couple of years now and this is ongoing”.
“We have had students, now graduates, helping; Rob Smith as a formal placement-year student, and Marco Domingo in relation to his Masters project. My colleague Simon Harvey has also visited with me to give advice.
“Rob led on the design the chassis, the aerodynamic bodywork and solar powertrain and Marco worked on wiring, instrumentation and the dashboard. The collaboration will continue into the future as the car is modified, and we hope to have a placement student working with the colleges on the project.”
“This has been a great opportunity for all students involved and we intend building on this partnership – college students will be invited to visit our labs in the near future.”
The Ardingly and Ifield students have been working together over the past four years as part of a STEM project to develop a solar car. The car’s features include the latest solar technologies with the help of 33 companies and the universities of Brighton and Surrey.
Backed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for its belief in the vision of sustainable transport, the car was shipped to Australia in July and next month will set off from Adelaide to Darwin for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019.
The 16-18-year-old College students, travelling in a convoy of vehicles, hope the solar car will achieve the UK record for the greatest number of solar miles.
Project lead, Dr Andrew Spiers MBE, Director of Science and Technology at Ardingly College, said: “This project has grown considerably over the past 10 years and forms a focus for educating our students in engineering skills and sustainable transport solutions; it is so rewarding to see both university and school students working together with a tangible end product.
“The project only exists because of the good will of our universities and sponsor companies. A special thanks should be mentioned to Dr Daniel Coren for all his essential technical advice and the unceasing enthusiasm for the project. Also, to Professor Debra Humphries (University of Brighton Vice-Chancellor) for her unwavering support. We are now entering the race phase of this 4-year project; where the team of 24 including Rob Smith will be travelling from Darwin to Adelaide camping and living in the outback. This is not for the faint hearted. Please wish us luck.”
For daily updates on the project go to twitter feed @ardinglysolar