RGS Guildford courtyard with students

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Anish Sathananthan, OG’20, is studying Engineering at Durham and is Team Principal for the University’s Solar Car Project, leading a team to the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in their new solar powered electric car, DUSC 2023. The race starts in Darwin on 22 October and finishes in Adelaide on 29 October covering over 3,000 kilometres in just 50 hours in the terrain, landmarks and surroundings of Australia. The limited solar panel size means that they must do this using only about 1000 Watt (about half the power of a hair dryer), driving innovation to develop vehicles that consume less energy.

The three-wheeled car has been built and developed by the team led by Anish. It boasts a 4m2 high efficiency silicon solar array capable of generating enough energy to allow the car to cruise at over 75 kmph in the Australian outback using only the power of the sun. It weighs approximately 170 kilograms and is primarily made of lightweight carbon fibre and Kevlar to ensure optimal strength and safety. The car makes use of a single in-wheel motor to drive the car through the outback. The use of an in-wheel motor omits the need for a gearbox or other mechanical powertrain components, further improving efficiency.

Over 50 Durham students from a variety of backgrounds have spent the last two years and over a hundred thousand hours designing and building their new car as an extra-curricular activity. Congratulations to Anish – we wish them all the very best in this amazing challenge!