#1 Victorian uni for graduate employment1

#1 in the world for sport science2

#1 Victorian uni for course satisfaction3

NEXT UP ON this.

Deakin’s ASCEND Solar Car to compete in the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Deakin University has partnered with ACCIONA Energia to enter a student designed and built solar powered vehicle in the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC).

The event will take place from October 22-29.

The BWSC is a design competition that brings together the brightest minds from around the world to Australia, to push the technical limits of technological innovation, and travel the outback in a vehicle powered by the energy of the sun.

The event is held bi-annually and was last run in 2019, cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19. The race stretches 3000 kilometres from Adelaide to Darwin.

Deakin’s 20-person team, ASCEND (ACCIONA Solar Car Engineered by Deakin) will join 42 student-led teams from 23 countries, as well as industry partners, entrepreneurs and advocates for a more sustainable future.

Deakin University is the only university from Victoria competing in the race. Deakin is also the only Victorian university to compete in the race in over a decade.

Why is Deakin participating?

Deakin University is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025 through renewable energy.

Participating in the BWSC is an opportunity to showcase Deakin’s strengths in sustainable innovation through additive manufacturing, engineering design and product development, and to provide exceptional learning experiences.

Since 2019, the ASCEND Solar Car Project has engaged more than 1000 students across Deakin and representing disciplines ranging from mechanical, electrical and aerodynamics engineering to information technology, business, marketing and communication. Participation in this real-world project gives students hands-on experience and an embedded knowledge of how the industry works.

For our partner, ACCIONA Energía, building a competitive solar-powered vehicle is an opportunity to substantiate the power of renewable energy in innovative projects.

What is the design philosophy of ASCEND?

Deakin University’s solar-powered car ASCEND has been designed in line with the directions of electric cars in the current market – but with a twist.

It all began with challenging Deakin students to not only design a vehicle to be entered into the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge ‘Cruiser’ division but a vehicle they would like to drive daily that is as sustainable as possible in design and construction – a brief that was taken very seriously by the team.

To date over 1000 Deakin students have been involved in the design and what has resulted is an aerodynamic car capable of traversing central Australia’s rugged terrain that looks and feels as comfortable in the outback as it would on the city street.

The body of the car has been 3D printed eliminating the need for wasteful moulds and the doors and stringer are made of basalt fibre for strength and stability!

By carefully balancing aesthetics, innovation, efficiency and practicality ASCEND has been designed for acceptance in the current market to substantiate the potential for solar-powered cars in the future.

What is unique about ASCEND?

Students have used additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, to design and build the car body as well as to construct complex automotive parts not easily produced through traditional manufacturing techniques.

The body was printed in nylon powder using Multi-Jet Fusion technology which provides strong performance and production rates much faster than traditional 3D printing technologies.

Composites of basalt fibre and eco bio-resins are used for the car doors and stringers that reinforce the body panels.

Partnering with Acciona Energía has offered an amazing opportunity for students to engage with industry throughout the design process.

explore more