Thank you DJI!

DJI logo

The field of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has really taken off during the last few years and DJI have been at the forefront of this. We are delighted to be their student ambassador for Durham University. As part of this fantastic relationship we have with the company, we are able to use their DJI Mavic Pro during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge to capture some incredible footage from various angle and altitudes during the 3000km race. This is really exciting for us and we cannot thank the company enough for their support, putting our solar car on the global stage with some of the best filming angles possible. 

Thank you Altair!

How do you design a lightweight car made out of carbon-fibre? well for one thing you need simulation software and that is where our sponsor Altair’s Hyperworks package comes in. Their 25 years experience in this field and fantastic global technical support has been vital in enabling us to design and engineer a world-class chassis for both the 2015 and 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. We thank the team there for this ongoing partnership that we have with them and look forward to building on this as we look ahead to some very exciting developments. 

IMechE World Solar Challenge award 2017

IMechE Logo

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) was founded in 1847. We were delighted to be awarded the 2015 World Solar Challenge award for that year’s Bridgestone WSC and are thrilled to announce today that we have been awarded the 2017 World Solar Challenge award from the Institution. We look forward to promoting them on this global stage and our common goals of promoting STEM and inspiring the next generation of students to pursue these career paths. We are incredibly thankful to the IMechE for their support in this event. 

Day 1 in Australia!

This is it. Today we began the biggest challenge for any solar powered car. To drive 3000km across the outback entirely on the power of the sun against over 40 teams from around the world. An early start for the team – 4am – was not most welcome but the car & team arrived in good time for the start line and parade of all the solar cars. Seeing our solar car in Parliament House was awesome but to see it alongside some of the most renowned teams in the competition was particularly enthralling. 

We qualified 31st and considered this a very strong position for the car and team. The start line beckoned and we were welcomed with great fanfare from the crowd – they love a British team! Setting off through the streets of Darwin was particularly surreal, with crowds lined up to watch all the extraordinary designs drive to Adelaide. We then proceeded to the Stuart Highway.

Our solar car performed incredibly well, driving the entire 322km on solar power without having to trailer the vehicle. Although our pace was affected by weather conditions (it even rained at one point), and some minor technical niggles, our driver changeovers were slick and we remained on the road for most of the day.

We reached the Katherine control stop in good time that afternoon and met the Flinders University team. They very kindly offered us use of the accommodation they had that night which happened to be a church in Katherine.

It was a fantastic day for the team, with spirits incredibly high; indeed, a lot of people became very emotional seeing this car on the highway after working on the design, manufacture and business sides of the project for many years. The team and car performed extraordinarily well today and we are delighted with the progress. Keep an eye on our social media as we update you on our progress as & when we get mobile signal. You can also track our car at https://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/dashboard/map.

Day 1 was a great start for the team and we look forward to building this momentum over the next few days.

Thank you Robert Cupitt!

Robert Cupitt Logo

For all the ‘go’ that our solar car has, we must be able to stop! This ensures we meet the rules and regulations of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge particularly given the unpredictability of the wildlife on the 3000km route from Darwin to Adelaide. The Tolomatic brake callipers supplied by Robert Cupitt company are the highest-quality we’ve encountered and are both lightweight and strong enough to cope with our often opposing aims of making lightweight yet strong components. As we take part in this 3000km marathon we cannot thank the team enough for their support of the project and are delighted to recognise them as a pivotal sponsor.

Thank you to Tufnol!

Tufnol Composites Logo

A solar car is only as good as its motor; there is no point in building a car that goes the speed of a milkfloat! Being one of a select few teams that design and manufacture our own motor, we required high-quality laminated plastics that Tufnol, based in Birmingham, were ideally suited to provide. These plates enable us to mount essential components in our in-wheel design in an efficient, compact manner, with a single motor taking us up to speeds of 70mph at incredible efficiency levels. We look forward to a longstanding relationship with the company as we build yet faster and more efficient car designs. 

Thank you to Gochermann!

Gochermann Solar Technology

A solar car wouldn’t be a solar car without solar cells and when it came to sourcing ours we looked no further than the team at Gochermann. Oliver Gochermann was incredibly supportive of our endeavours, providing excellent encapsulation solutions for the SunPower cells underpinning our array. When travelling in the outback at speeds of up to 70mph, this solar cell will recharge our battery pack, enabling us to travel the incredible distance of 3000km just on solar power. This is a great example of the pioneering technology powering us in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and we thank them for their support over the years. 

Thank you to Eurocircuits

Electronics are a critical component of every car. We use them for everything from telemetry, to motor control systems and much more. The Eurocircuits team were a pivotal part of this vital system, enabling us to use custom PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) to ensure we maximised efficiency and performance across the board. We are indebted to their support of the project for the last few years and are delighted to showcase their brand at the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Thank You Designs Unique!

Designs Unique Logo

The first of our sponsor thank you’s goes to the team at Designs Unique for their work on our branding and logo. We love working with local industries and creative director Graeme Hall was superb in providing us with a range of options to choose from, culminating in our current logo. If you take a closer look, the increasing size of the shards left to right and changing colours shows the importance of the sun to our success; ultimately we are a solar car team! We thank them personally for all of their work enabling us to celebrate our 15th anniversary and our participation in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge with style!

We have arrived in Australia!

G’day from Australia! The DUEM team have been in Darwin for over a week now and we wanted to give you an update on our progress and plans going forward. Our advance party helped the car clear customs and quarantine in just a few days and timed it perfectly with the main party’s arrival on Friday 22nd September. 

Since then the team has been hard at work, fitting the last few components and tweaking various elements of the car to ensure maximum performance and efficiency gains. 

We were one of the first teams at the Darwin base – Hidden Valley race circuit – and this enabled us to have first pick of the pit garages; we chose number 5 as this was the same as we had in 2015. As the week progressed more teams arrived from all around the world, with our neighbours including Principia & Michigan from America as well as Antakari from Chile and so many more. The pit atmosphere is fantastic and really collaborative, with teams sharing ideas, components and tools to help everyone out. 

Initial progress at static scrutineering was promising, with minor tweaks required but with a strong performance across electrical and mechanical teams. We will of course let you know when we clear this and move on to the dynamic tests! 

Early runs at the track were encouraging and we are looking forward to sharing footage from this in the coming days with you. We will also be publishing regular blogs whilst we drive the 3000km across the outback – internet permitting! – enabling you to meet the team and find out more about our solar car’s innovations. Check out our first video below and stay tuned on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram channels.