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Browse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or download them using the link below:

2017 FAQs V1_23 Jan 2017

Different members of our team got different answers to the same question – what can you do about that?

Past experience shows that we have done our best to answer questions without context, and have had multiple questions from others claiming to represent the same team.
Answers can also be taken out of context, so in future all questions must be put to the Participant Liaison Officer via stating the name of the enquirer and the team represented. Once a team has registered, all communication will be with the Team manager however in practical terms, this policy is satisfied when the Team Manager is copied into emails.

Please can you address our Team Manager as the Captain/Director of External Affairs/Red Leader?

No. Your application to join the event requires you nominate one individual as Team Manager. This is also defined in Regulation 1.19 and other regulations further define the obligations of the role. You may use whatever title you wish within your team structure, however the Event Administration and Officials will only refer to the nominated individual as the Team Manager.

Can I put my questions directly to the technical faculty?

The Technical faculty are all busy people who give their personal time to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. They also travel extensively so contacting them personally may only delay an answer. Whilst there will be times when team managers are invited to have direct contact with technical faculty members, all questions should be addressed to in the first instance.

Who can qualify as a Certifying Engineer? (Regulation 2.10.2)

In many countries this would be called a PE. The definition of “professional engineer” varies around the world. We require the certifying engineer to be someone who is recognised in the team’s country of origin as being able to take legal responsibility for approving and certifying the design and construction of a solar car as being suitable for driving on public roads.

Can we use experimental tyres which were approved for previous events?

No. Tyre approval is specific to each event. See Regulation 2.22 and Team Notice #1/17.

Batteries. To comply with Regulation 2.5.8, must we must monitor each cell, or can we monitor a group of cells?

There is a requirement to be able to detect a fault on any cell, but this does not require a sensor on every cell. Cells in parallel will all be at the same voltage, so one voltage sensor per module of parallel cells is acceptable.

Having one temperature sensor for a group of cells is also acceptable providing you can show, by modelling, that the sensor can detect high temperature on any cell in the group.

I don’t like the rules – can I make up my own?

Examples of the types of questions this covers;

  • I have built an electric race car. I have an electric race car which is ideal for you as it will do 200kph and will show the public what electric cars are capable of. How do I enter?
  • We are building a new 3 wheel vehicle for the Challenger Class – That used to be OK so why isn't it now?
  • We want to enter the Cruiser Class with an electric motorbike it has deployable jockey wheels and that is something which has never been seen before.
  • I have converted my Hummer to run on water. How can I enter?
  • What class can I enter my electric quad bike, land yacht / wind powered car / solar skate board / perpetual motion machine?

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is a competition to create an individually constructed vehicle within certain design parameters. The Adventure Class exists to allow teams who may have access to an existing car, built for a previous event, to gain experience. Regretfully, we are unable to provide a forum for you to demonstrate your invention or present a solar EV built to your own alternative

What are the arrangements for road testing in the Northern Territory?

As of the date of this notice, we are unable to provide any update on the question of road testing, which remains under discussion with the relevant authorities.
Although there are some outstanding issues to be resolved there is a willingness to help and we are confident of a positive outcome. Once a protocol for entrants to gain pre-event access to public roads can be negotiated, the process and conditions will be announced to all registered team managers.

See also section 3.10 of the Regulations.

Can we use a motor racing helmet with an FIA technical approval?

An FIA approved motor racing helmet does not necessarily meet the road traffic requirements in Australia. Regulation 3.4 contains details of acceptable compliance markings for helmets to be ‘street legal’ in Australia.

When can we expect the route to be announced?

The route is from Darwin City Centre to Adelaide City Centre. There is only one road across the centre of Australia, although there may be some minor variations within urban areas. To ensure the most accurate information as possible is available at the time of the event, detailed route notes with timing and location of those control points which will be declared before the start of the event will be published following the final route survey scheduled for June/July 2017.

The new regulation (2.2.4) is confusing please clarify.

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is working with the International Solarcar Federation to make it easier for teams to take their car to other events without the need for modifications. It is recognised that the solar array limit for the BWSC may not suit other events and the compromise is for the BWSC to require space for supplementary solar collectors, however these are neither required nor allowed to be used in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge event.

You have to show us that you could fit 2m2 of supplementary solar collectors into the car. The supplementary solar collectors do not have to be in one large panel—you could divide the 2m2 into smaller panels that stack inside the car. There is no restriction on the number of smaller panels or the size or shape of the smaller panels.

You do not have to build supplementary solar collector panels; you just have to show us that you have space for them inside the car. The storage area must be empty during the event.

Can we use lamps without compliance markings? (Regulation 2.24.3)

It is a requirement that your vehicle lighting meets the necessary standards for road vehicles. This should be achieved by using lamps with UNECE/SAE/DOT compliance markings.

We are aware that some Cruiser Class teams have worked with automotive lamp manufacturers to develop prototype devices which have not been certified. In these circumstances Regulation 2.24.3 provides a means of proving the conformity of lamps that do not have compliance marks through the provision of detailed technical reports and test results that demonstrated compliance with all of the technical requirements of the UNECE regulations.

While we recognise that some teams may have the resources to build custom lamps that can meet the UNECE or SAE/DOT regulations, the responsibility for compliance is with you.
If you decide to develop custom lamps, we will expect to see that you have satisfied your Certifying Engineer, through the provision of detailed reports and test results, that you have met all of the technical requirements in the UNECE or SAE/DOT regulations. We do not provide templates for these reports.

It is our strong recommendation that you use lamps that are already certified and have
compliance markings.

Regulation 2.4.1 refers to the primary energy source. What is ‘primary’
energy? What else is allowed? Does that mean we can have pedal

No. Human power hybrid is not allowed. The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is ‘Brain Sport’, if you seek athletic endeavour there are many events you could apply to join.
The re-wording of this regulation was designed to address the anomaly that solar cars are not powered solely by solar irradiation. Additional allowable energy sources include:

  • the energy in the energy storage system at the start of the event
  • additional external energy used to charge Cruiser solar cars
  • changes in potential energy due to the motion of the car along the route
  • energy recovered from regenerative braking
  • energy from wind forces acting on the car while it is driving

Changes in the potential energy of the car due to the motion of the car along the route are unavoidable and therefore acceptable. Other forms of potential energy that might be introduced into the solar car will be considered stored energy, and must comply with the energy storage regulations.
Wind forces acting on the car while it is driving are unavoidable and therefore acceptable. Collection of wind energy while the car is stationary is not acceptable.

Please clarify the regulation which states that the solar collector may be reconfigured for charging only while the solar car is stationary (Regulation 2.4.6)

Regulation 2.4.6 was removed in version 1.1 of the 2017 Event Regulations.
The overall size of the car is restricted by Regulation 2.2.1.
Please ensure your question refers to the current version of the Regulations and any Team Notices or Regulation Bulletins.
There are no current Bulletins.
There are 2 current Team Notices.
The current Regulations document is version 1.1 published on 30 June 2016.