Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Important Dates in 2017

Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Date: December, TBC
Venue: TBC

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Australian-International Model Solar Challenge

Date: 25th & 26th November
Venue: Hamilton College, SA

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2006 Australian- International Model Solar Challenge

Tasmanian Clean Sweep - Tasmania win National Challenge again

Last weekend, the National finals of the Australian International Model Solar Car Challenge were held at the University of NSW in Sydney.

The competition has been running since 1992 and requires secondary school students to design and build a model car to a set of very strict regulations, and then race them two at a time on a 100 metre long figure of 8 track. It has been dominated since its inception by well funded teams from WA.

The cars must be no more than 32cm wide and 65cm long, and can only be powered by a solar panel producing no more than 12 watts. Despite that the best cars can attain over 30 kph.

The top teams from all states and territories are invited to compete in the National competition, and this year a team from Portugal also took part, making a field of 32 cars.

Tasmania was represented by 2 cars from Rose Bay High School, 1 car from Taroona High School, 1 car from Queechy High School and 2 cars from Hobart College (after a late withdrawl by a NSW car).

On Friday all cars were timed over a lap of the track and seeded before the main event. This resulted in Tasmanian cars taking the top 3 seeds with all 6 cars in the top 10.

On Saturday a round robin saw 5 of the cars go through to the sudden death elimination finals. The sixth car fell foul of a wrong choice of motor but, after the motor was replaced, totally annihilated all comers in the ensuing plate competition for the 16 eliminated cars.

Along the way, this Hobart College car actually set a new track record of 16.36 seconds, slashing over half a second off the old record.

The top 16 cars then took part in a best of three laps sudden death elimination competition. This saw all 5 cars make it through to the final 8. At this stage the competition rules required the 2 Rose Bay cars to race each other and the Taroona car was narrowly beaten by a car from Belridge Senior High School from WA.

This left 3 Tasmanian cars in the final 4. The final result was Hobart College first, Queechy High School second, Rose Bay High School third, and Belridge Senior High School (WA) fourth.

As an extra to the racing, the teams are also interviewed by a team of experts to determine their knowledge and understanding of the engineering involved, and had to produce a poster detailing the development of the car. The Hobart College team also won this competition.

Alongside the cars, a solar powered model boat competition was held. There were 3 levels, for Primary, Intermediate and Senior students.

Tasmania had three entries. In the Intermediate class, Rose Bay High School came 5th and Lauderdale Primary came 4th. In the Senior class Taroona High School were unlucky to be beaten into second place.