Our Story

European Solar Challenge
2020

DUEM were set to compete in the 2020 iLumen European Solar Challenge (iESC), the world’s only 24-hour endurance race of its kind. However, due to U.K. travel restrictions, the team had to withdraw from the competition. Determined to not let a year of hard work go to waste, DUEM organised an event of their own – the Ouston Solar Challenge. 

24 hours and 7 punctured tyres later, the team achieved an impressive 414 kilometres.

DUEM received the iESC Hybrid Challenge Award for demonstrating unparalleled ingenuity and determination in taking on a 24-hour challenge of their own.

A British first with Ortus
2019

In 2019, DUEM entered the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge with their newly built car, Ortus. Over the past two years the team designed and built Ortus themselves and were excited to show her off on an international platform.

After 6 days of driving across the outback, camping wherever Ortus stopped and making it to all 9 control stops, DUEM achieved 14th place in the Challenger class. Ortus had traveled 2,834km, making DUEM the top British Team in its category!

The car’s new and improved model reached a top speed of 108kph (67mph), whilst weighing just 178kg and using less power than a hairdryer. 

Journey of DUSC
2017

Weighing just 250kg, and capable of a top speed of 100kph, we were confident that our car, DUSC, would be successful in the race. We completed an impressive 1000km of the 3000km challenge, despite it raining for a substantial portion of the route. Just take a look at our gallery of photos from WSC 2017.

A complete re-design
2015

After 3 years of design and development, DUEM took part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge for the second time, with an all new design. With a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, state-of-the-art aerodynamics and mechanical and electrical systems, the car (DUSC) had the potential to reach 70mph and weighed just 250kg.

Although faced with difficult circumstances, the team learned a great deal from this challenging experience and built upon these lessons in the highly successful entry in 2017. You can see our photo highlights from this challenge here.

OUR FIRST WORLD SOLAR CHALLENGE
2011

2011 saw Durham make its first foray into the world’s premier solar race, the World Solar Challenge. The Australian Outback presented some unique challenges to the teams involved, including blistering temperatures, lightning storms, challenging terrain and even bush fires.

In qualifying, the car performed strongly, finishing in the top 10. Unfortunately once on the road, the car, DUSC2011, encountered cracking on its highly fragile solar cells due to the intense heat. Despite these issues, the team continued to run at an average speed of 80 km/h, reaching Adelaide in just 7 days. Read more about the 2011 WSC here.

ROOKIE TEAM OF THE YEAR
2008

In 2008, Durham competed in the North American Solar Challenge (NASC); the only UK team to do so. The race took place over nine days on a route between Texas, Kansas and Calgary, covering just over 2500 miles.

After suffering early setbacks due to minor mechanical faults and poor solar conditions, the team finished the second half of the race strongly, moving steadily up the leader board and finishing 14th out of 26 entries. At the awards ceremony, Durham were awarded “Rookie Team of the Year” as the highest placed new entry.

Solar Car At Durham University
2002