Friday, October 28, 2011

World Solar Challenge 2011 - The Indian Quest

We reached there with a dream in our eyes. The dream of representing India on an international platform. With great hopes and enthusiasm, we entered the World Solar Challenge without knowing what was there to come.

4th OCT, 2011 : (Shocking News)

We reached Australia and were waiting for the Cargo to arrive and then came a shocking news that there is a delay in the shipment and we will receive it on 10th OCT ! It was a huge shock considering the fact that the static testing of the vehicle was on 14th and we will only be having 3 days to assemble the vehicle back. On the top of this, there came another shocking news that we won't be able to receive our batteries and controller due to the custom problems (PS - It did arrive at Darwin but on 18th Oct 2 days after the start of the race lol).

5th OCT, 2011 : (Another One !)

We finally decided to proceed as planned and the task next on our list was to get the cars we booked online from the Europcar and there came another disaster ! In Australia to hire a vehicle, you need to be atleast 21 otherwise insurance companies won't insure the vehicle for you and due the same, car companies won't alot you a vehicle ! There was no such info on the websites ! And there we have yet another problem.

Days passed and team lost all its enthusiasm having no solution whatsoever to the situation.

10th OCT, 2011 : (Avenir @ Hidden Valley Race Track)

With the help from the Indians from the other teams, we finally received the cargo late at night and decided to proceed towards assembling the vehicle. We had only 3 days to complete the vehicle for static and dynamic testing and so, we had 3 sleepless nights and were finally able to assemble the vehicle again. We had to purchase Lead Acid batteries and had to use  them instead of our Lithium iron Phosphate batteries as we were having no alternative with us and we managed to operate the motor with a yobike motor controller. It was like making the car again from the scratch.

14th OCT, 2011 : (The Static Testing)

The day of the static testing finally came and we failed. Yeah ! not only us, but even most of the big guns in the World Solar Challenge failed the scrutiny at first. We were given just one night to fix all the things the red shirts pointed during the testing. And there we had yet another sleepless night ! 

15th OCT, 2011 : (The Dynamic Testing)

We finally did managed to qualify the static and dynamic scrutiny and entered into the list of teams who managed to qualify for the race. But now came the big problem before us ! We neither had any chase vehicle or any trailer. But with the arrival of our Electronics Head (Who is luckily above 21), we did manage to get a chase vehicle in the evening. Earlier in the morning, the event director told us that we shouldn't compete in the race because according to him and the other race officials, we won't be able to complete the race ! (But later he was proved wrong and he apologized in front of Australian media.)

Now the night came and there we sat in a common room thinking about what to do now ! We couldn't start the race unless we had an Australian driver and a trailer.

16th OCT, 2011 : (And .. We Started !)

It was 4 am in the morning and a voice came "We will do it !". And it was like the team has finally regained its spirit and strength.  We divided ourselves in groups and divided the tasks among ourselves. Luckily we managed to get the vehicles and start the race. Pride as we  were on seeing the Indian fans applauding for us in Australia. It was the day for which we worked hard for the past 2 years and it was finally there before us. Tears of joy fell from the eyes of many and the day marked the beginning of India's participation in World Solar Challenge, Australia.

But this happiness soon disappeared ! We were just 12 kms away from the starting line and we had a major accident ! Our Cockpit along with one of our panels was gone and we had a major electrical system failure. We had to trail the vehicle to the 1st checkpoint as we couldn't fix anything in the middle of the road.

17th OCT, 2011 : (Another Sleepless Night)

And there we had yet another sleepless night but we finally managed to fix the vehicle and we started again. The vehicle was on road again and we did managed to cover some significant solar miles.

Days went by and Avenir walked down the roads inspite of the poor weather conditions. (There was no sunshine for 2 continuous days and it was raining as  well). We did managed to run our vehicle in the conditions in which even MIT Solar Vehicle Team was trailing !

23rd OCT, 2011 : (We Reached Adelaide)

We finally reached Adelaide and managed to complete the race and became the first team from India to do so.

24th OCT, 2011 : (The Finish Line)

 We reached the finish line and there we had a crowd of people applauding for the Indian team. Everybody was happy and proud to achieve this great feat. All the hard work we did, all the hardships we faced were all there in front of our eyes. The feeling was extraordinarily amazing and cannot be described in words. The feeling to see the Indian Flag being raised in a foreign country is quite amazing.

..... We did it ! :')

25th OCT, 2011 : (The Final Result)

It went well above our expectations. We did 301 km on Solar power during competition and became the first Indian team to do so.  We also got the most economical vehicle recognition. Results were good considering that it was our first time and also the teams which were below us had a budget of more than 2.5 million USDs !!! We will do much much better next time.  We had learned a lot from this and will implement in the next project.

The project faced many obstacles. We overcame some and had to maneuver around others. Sure, some may say these few extra miles is just icing on the cake, but we believe it's the icing that takes the cake.

 In the end We have only one thing to say.

"To Give meaning is to create,
To Create is to Live and
To Live is Team Solaris !"


  1. awsum bhai... it ws ur 1st attempt bt still u rockd it... luv ya... :)

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  2. Great Job Done. Similar was story of Mini Baja contest in Africa, held in 2007. All in all MORALE of the story is INDIA and INDIANS rock everywhere. Keep going guys..

  3. Thanks for the appreciation Guys..Your appreciation fuels our passion to make the world greener and cleaner....

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I am student studying in NITK...I would like to have the contact number of DTU solar car team captain...It would be much appreciated...thank u..u could send it

  6. please give us your email address.we are working on a car for World Solar Challenge this would be our pleasure if we get some help from you

  7. Thanks to provide this such nice information. you have
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