Halmstad University Solar Team is a student driven, non-profit organisation operating from the city of Halmstad, Sweden. We are working toward a sustainable future for the automotive industry and in doing so, developing a solar driven racing car to participate in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. There we will, along with students representing 35 different nations from across the globe, compete in who has developed the most effective solar powered car, in a race that spans 3000 km through the Australian countryside from Darwin to Adelaide.
Our vision is to win the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. HUST will do this through creativity, innovation and an extreme dedication.
First day of the race:
The start line was at Darwin, initially the stretch led through Darwin's city center necessitating that the solar cars navigate urban traffic. Sven reached Control Stop 1: Kathrine (322 km) successfully and everything proceeded as planned. By 5 pm we concluded our day's journey in accordance with the competition rules, covering the distance of 433 kilometers. There we made a pit stop for the night in a roadside parking area. It was noticed that more energy was consumed than initially anticipated. That prompted the development new strategies and planning adjustments to better address the conditions anticipated for the following day.
Tuesday 24/10 - Third Day
The team set out for Control Stop 3: Tennant Creek (987 km). The energy consumption exceeded expectations that day and the weather conditions were less that optimal. Despite the obstacles, the team managed to arrive at the control stop in the nick of time ensuring our continued participation in the competition. A control stop operates within specified time windows, meaning that missing one would result in the termination of the journey in the competition. The procedure at a control stop involves exiting the solar car, along with any ballast, and then racing to press a button to record the time. Following this, no one is allowed to touch the car for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, the driver can prepare with any necessary ballast and set off after 30 minutes.
It was realized at this point that it would be challenging to make it to the next stop due to our car's higher energy consumption compared to energy generation. That was the reason we made the tough call to trailer Sven at around 1070 km. It's important to note nothing went wrong, the car was stable, maintained excellent temperatures for its electrical components, and all mechanical structures were sound. However, due to our energy consumption issues, the team made the difficult call to conclude our journey in the Challenger class.
Thursday 26/10 - Fifth Day
We left Coober Pedy (2178 km) early in the morning. The day started with a fully charged battery from the previous day, enabling us to test the capabilities of the car's speed and maintain an increased average speed of approximately 75-80 km/h. The strong crosswinds that the weather had planned for us further contributed to our data collection and strategy development compared to previous stages. Next control stop was in Glendambo (2432 km) where we took a lunch break before the last drive down to Port Augusta (2716 km).