ATN GT Solar Car (Priscilla)
- Matt Millar
- Simon Curlis
- Sarawit (Richie) Hongladaromp
Priscilla is a hyper-efficient solar car that promotes sustainable futures for a post fossil fuel world. The car has a vehicle body designed, developed, and constructed in Victoria by RMIT University Design and Engineering students and staff. It was one of the top contenders in the International 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC).
Featuring five square meters of solar array, which lifts to face the sun from sunrise to sunset when parked, our solar sports car carries two people, has cargo space for golf bags and luggage for two and is perfect for weekend trips away.
Priscilla is a sculpture on wheels, the design is a fusion of the scientific engineering principles and sculpting a high-efficiency vehicle that resonates with public sentiment and promotes Australian Design capability.
Combining functionality and high energy efficiency with sports car styling, Priscilla is thrilling to drive, setting the fastest dynamic time of any car in class.
The designers have delivered a hyper-efficient composite body designed and fabricated in Victoria. The vehicle represents high-performance potential with a sustainable energy footprint.
The restrained interior features seating for two occupants, ergonomic steering wheel with integrated controls and emphasis on performance and function.
Priscilla is homage to Australian creative sector, diversity and inclusivity; actively promoting STEM capabilities for school children as it crossed Australia and at the Australian Grand Prix.
The design team optimised the aerodynamics and structural efficiency minimising energy consumption using an ultra-light, robust, Carbon fibre body which resists corrosion and fatigue. End of life considerations are addressed through emerging recycling technology and integrating bio-composites in the second-generation vehicle interior.
The Solar car embodies the desires of today’s consumers with the ethical future tense of climate change and sustainable motoring.
The prototype vehicle is a showcase of creative capabilities of young designers in Victoria and their ability to integrate emerging research and collaborate with existing industries in design innovation and development for sustainable vehicle design and composite monocoque body fabrication.
This design seeks to assist in establishing Victoria as a location for developing sustainable mobility solutions for emerging zero carbon personal transport and plausible challenge to unsustainable vehicle production and consumption.
Design process was undertaken as an industry based interdisciplinary team by RMIT Design and Engineering community incorporating emerging research into a prototype vehicle then testing it by crossing Australia in the BWSC.
The key consideration of the design was making the most aerodynamically efficient body possible which is measured and expressed through a drag coefficient. In this case, the wind tunnel tested result of 0.104 equates to half the closest production vehicle achievement. Drag was reduced by enclosing both rear drive wheels and front steering wheels at highway speeds, the front spats open to allow for tight cornering and parking.
Priscilla Solar car body was developed with the support of the Australian Technology Network of Universities as a distributed vehicle development programme that challenged young designers and engineers to create a vision for sustainable future in mobility.
For Victorian, RMIT University operating in the wake of Australian vehicle manufacturing closures, this car body design challenges convention and promotes ethical design and sustainable development within the context of climate change and a globalised design market.
The Priscilla Solar car was conceived and gestated in a shorter time than any conventional vehicle production programme. The Project has been an industry engaged and personally transformative experience for the design team who participated.