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Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Important Dates in 2016

Australian-International Model Solar Challenge

Date: 15th & 16th October
Venue: Scienceworks, Vic

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Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Date: TBA
Venue: New Town HS

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Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge


What is the Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge?


The Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is an exciting hands-on Science, Engineering and Technology competition for schools. It links concepts learnt in the classroom with the physical world and acts as an effective motivator for students to remain engaged in the areas of science and mathematics at school.

The TMSC consists of 3 separate sub-events: a model solar sprint car, model solar boat and model solar AIMSCC car Challenge. New rules for all 3 competitions are released online at the start of each school year and students then have most of the year to complete their solar vehicles for racing. The TMSC is generally held in October with teams usually having up until about a week before the event to fill out an online entry form. Top teams in the boat and AIMSCC car events are then selected to represent the state at the national finals.

The Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge resides in under the umbrella of the Australian-International Model Solar Challenge which sees the top entries from all states and territories compete against one another in the quest to be crowned the fastest model solar powered car or boat in the country. On occasions the national finals also have international teams from overseas take part.

The first model solar car event was held in the early 1990's in Victoria. Teachers and mentors involved in a school team participating in the inaugural World Solar Challenge had found it to be highly educational and felt that a simpler and lower cost version of the event should be created to bring the experience to schools with much lower budgets, funding and technical knowledge. The model solar challenge was thus formed with many of the concepts and problems faced by those competing in the World Solar Challenge being preserved.

While the challenge is all about having fun and learning, there is a competitive side to the event and vehicles are often produced to a very high standard. In fact, top teams have refined their cars/boats and knowledge to such an extent that would see even professional engineers struggle to better them.

Below is a short promotional video clip produced by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia for the WA event. This contains footage from the 2010 Australian-International Model Solar Challenge finals and features a number of Tasmanian teams and cars.



Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology, major sponsor of the Victorian Model Solar Challenge, also recently put together the following video on the solar challenge. The video gives a great little overview of what the challenge is all about.

How do I get involved in the model solar challenge?


Getting involved in the Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is easy. The competition is open to any school-aged teams up to year 12 and there are no entry fees. Teams can be made up of a single student, a small group or even an entire class. All teachers and students need is the motivation to build a model solar powered car or boat.

New rules for all 3 TMSC competitions are released at the start of each school year by the event's national body, the AIMSC. Teams then have the majority of the year to design, construct and get their entries prepared for the event. Exact dates for the TMSC will vary from year to year but the event is typically held around mid to late October.

Some schools integrate the Challenge into their curriculum as an elective short course while others set aside lunchtimes and occasional after-school sessions to work on their cars and boats. Teams are not just restricted to working on their vehicles at school either and students may also choose to continue building and testing at home.
Students may even like to undertake the Challenge as a personal project and complete their entire car or boat at home.

Although the 3 events are open to anyone up to year 12, there are different difficulties and intended target ages associated with each event:

The AIMSCC car event is arguably the most challenging of the 3 competitions. Teams of students ranging from year 9 to 12 typically enter this event although students younger than this have been known to compete in the past.

The sprint car challenge is a lower cost and simpler version of the AIMSCC car event. Although this challenge is open to students up to year 12, the event is primarily aimed at primary (year 5 and 6) and early secondary (year 7 and 8) students.

Model solar boats are even simpler to construct and ideal for younger primary school-aged students, yet the thrill of competition and the learning outcomes are just as great. The boat event is split into 2 divisions, a Junior and Advanced section, where the junior section is open to students up to grade 6. The advanced division is aimed at older secondary students and doesn't have cost limits on components such as motors and other materials.

2015 Event


A date for the 2015 Powercom Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge is yet to be announced however this will be held in will be held in either September or early October at New Town HS.

There are no event entry fees and teams must simply fill out an online entry form before the day of their event to register. Late on-the-day entries will still be accepted but teams are encouraged to enter online so the TMSC Committee is able to form some idea of entry numbers. Filling out an online entry form also means that teams are submitted to the TMSC's entry database and can then be contacted in cases where the event needs to be postponed due to inclement weather.
Parents, friends and other interested spectators are welcome to come along and observe the day's competition.


View Larger Map

The event will be held on a portion of the New Town HS oval which is most easily accessed from the visitor parking area around the back of the school.
Things will kick off at around 9:00am and a detailed schedule of the day's competitions will be issued over the coming weeks.

Given that tracks and pools will need to be assembled on the day, teams (particularly from southern-based schools) are encouraged to come along a little earlier and assist the committee with setting these up.

Placegetter and other awards will be presented at the conclusion of the event with top teams then being selected to represent Tasmania at the 2015 National Championships.

Regulations and Administration


The 2015 Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge will consist of two sub challenges:

2015 Model Solar Car Challenge


The rules for the 2015 Tasmanian Model Solar Car Challenge are yet to be published, these are generally released at the beginning of the school year. In the meantime please see the 2014 regulations that are listed below. Many of these rules such as power measurement, ballasting formulas, car size limitations, etc are kept from year to year.

2014 Car Administration
2014 Car Specifications

Other documents worth reading include:

Solar Panel Anomalies
Low Shunt Resistance Solar Cells
Solar Panel Cracking

For car design hints and help see the website's CHALLENGE HELP page or checkout photos of past cars on the GALLERY page.

View all 2011 AIMSC car photos ...

Top place getters in this event will be eligible to represent Tasmania at the national event (date and venue TBA).

Please note that only teams selected to attend the national event will be required to construct a poster as per regulation 3.6. There is no requirement of such a poster for the Tas event, nor are any team interviews conducted as per regulation 3.7.

2015 Model Solar Boat Challenge


The rules for the 2015 Tasmanian Model Solar Boat Challenge are yet to be published, these are generally released at the beginning of the school year. In the meantime please see the 2014 regulations that are listed below. It is expected that there will be very little change between the 2014 and 2015 boat regulations.

2014 Model Solar Boat Regulations

Please note that teams will not be required to produce a poster for the Tas boat event as has been outlined in section 2.6 of the national rules. Only those teams selected to attend the national event will be required to supply a poster.

For boat design hints please see the website's CHALLENGE HELP page or checkout photos of past boats on the GALLERY page.

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2015 Australian-International Model Solar Challenge


A date and venue for the 2015 Australian-International Model Solar Challenge has yet to be confirmed. Keep tuned for more information by visiting the national website at:

2015 AIMSC nationals

TMSCC and AIMSCC Tracks


New AIMSCC Sunsprint Track
Tasmanian Track Plan View
Tasmanian Track Overpass


(The two lane, Figure-8, Tasmanian track set up at the University of Tasmania in 2011)