‘UNLIMITED’ energy powers students’ epic journey

Western's Solar Car team
Western's Solar Car team
Western's Solar Car team

On just $2 of fuel Western Sydney University students will race 3000 kilometres from Darwin to Adelaide at speeds up 130 kilometres per hour in a car they designed and built. 

Passionate students from the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics (SCEM) have spent hours designing, manufacturing and optimising their entry – a 150 kilogram, carbon fibre car covered in 390 solar cells - in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (18 to 25 October). 

Western's Solar Car Team's entry called, UNLIMITED., will compete against 30 other contenders from around-the-world in the Challenger class.

For aspiring engineers this is not just a race to the finish line in Adelaide but a pathway to unlimited, renewable, sources of energy.

Engineering student and team project manager, Anuj Verma, says solar racing is a key driver of innovative solar and battery technology.

"Projects such as solar vehicle racing highlight advancements in solar energy capture and storage. It also shows a future where living off the grid for consumers will be part of everyday life in the next 10 years," he says.

"We've worked closely with industry leaders as mentors and partners to build Western's solar car – UNLIMITED. It's been a great experience for everyone on the team," says Anuj.

LSM Advanced Composites generously opened their workshop and supported Western's solar car team.

Bridgestone have supplied custom designed Ecopia Ologic solar racing tyres.

Acting Dean Professor Yang Xiang, from the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, says maintaining our quality of life in the future is dependent on technology to capture renewable resources.

"Our students will be the scientists and engineers who will invent the renewable energy technologies needed to fuel our homes, our industry and our futures," says Professor Yang.

"With the rapid development of Western Sydney as an economic powerhouse, the University is well positioned to support this region's growth in educating engineers who will bring innovative and critical thinking in sustainability."

Penrith City Council, an integral advocate for renewable energy and community engagement, is using its sponsorship of Western's UNLIMITED. solar car to promote sustainability.

Dr Ali Hellany, senior lecturer and academic supervisor for the Solar Car project says, "the students on the Solar Car team are highly motivated and continually strive to be their best, not just for themselves but also for the honour of representing Western Sydney University.

"They aim each day to reach new heights and are not adverse to volunteering their time on the solar car project. They are gaining the knowledge and experience to further their careers," says Dr Ali.

Western Sydney University would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for supporting the UNLIMITED. Solar Car Team

  • Daren Dunn, winner of the 2015 NAIDOC Artist of the Year award
  • Bridgestone
  • NEP Broadcasting
  • Penrith City Council
  • Department of Industry
  • LSM Advanced Composites
  • Leap Australia
  • Campus Life
  • Western Sydney University Campus Villages
  • Macarthur Design & Drafting
  • Dropbox
  • Altium
  • Adobe
  • Weatherzone
  • Pivotel
  • Sydney Dragway
  • Tafe WSI
  • Arrow Print
  • Electric Bug


1 October 2015

Photos: Sahlan Hayes

Media contact: Tanya Patterson, Media Officer

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