The Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Bochum Hochschule) has been developing solar powered cars for almost 20 years, going back to 1999. Students from the university developed the “Mad Dog III” in 2001 which competed in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.
In 2015, the student run project developed the “SunRiser” in partnership with ThyssenKrupp and finished 3rd in the World Solar Challenge.
Not content with the outstanding results to date, the Bochum Hochschule Solar Car Project will evolve a new generation car for 2017… and development has already begun.
With more than 50 members, the Bochum solar car project is one of the largest worldwide and is also coordinated and run by students. The team is divided into teams of specialists in individual areas of development, as well as advising teachers and scientists from fields including electrical and mechanical engineering.
Task are defined and distributed at weekly meetings, and the current status of the project is reviewed and any problems are discussed.
Each project cycle is developed over two years and is divided into different phases, from the planning of a new vehicle, training new team members, and the completion and presentation of the new solar cars. The main highlight of every project cycle is taking part in the World Solar Challenge in Australia. (See this post.)
The project is organised around a form of Problem Based Learning (PBL). Over the project cycle students gradually take on more responsibility for their own knowledge of construction, and dealing with real problems and their appropriate solutions are developed within the multidisciplinary team.
The project has successfully developed 6 solar car models, with significant improvements from cycle to cycle. The team has already begun work on a new solar car that will go to the world solar challenge in Australia in 2017.