UiTM’s EcoPhoton Solar Racing Team becomes first Malaysian representative to complete BSWC 2019
The EcoPhoton Solar Racing Team from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) successfully completed the 3,000 kilometer-length Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge (BWSC) 2019, a solar-powered car race event.
BWSC 2019 kicked-off at Darwin, North Australia and concluded at Adelaide, South Australia from the 13th to the 20th of October 2019.
EcoPhoton participated in the world-known challenge using Tigris, a solar-car developed by the team with sponsorship from various organisations and companies including the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
This marked the third time EcoPhoton has participated in BSWC 2019 while their completion in the competition marks the first Malaysian team to successfully complete the entire course of BWSC 2019.
The team was led by Muhammad Syazwan Johari, accompanied by the rest of the EcoPhoton Solar Racing Team members.
“First of all, I am very proud of my team for completing the 3000 km-length journey, which is not an easy task to complete. BSWC 2019 requires proper planning and strategy execution as opposed to a traditional race. For example, on the first day of the competition, we faced a technical failure in Tigris’ electrical components but my team managed to fix everything in time, just by the side of an open road and we were able to get back on the race just enough to finish it.”, said Syazwan.
The EcoPhoton team gained knowledge and expertise of solar-car technology through research and study on other top teams that have experience in solar technologies.
“We usually observe and study methods used by other teams. There are instances where we got in touch with the other teams through social media to exchange knowledge and expertise revolving solar-based vehicles and technologies.”, he added.
Syazwan also said that help from various industry players and MARii has guided the team towards their success in BSWC 2019.
“We got the chance to prove to the world that our solar innovation is on par with other countries. It’s not easy to compete with teams from countries that are technologically advanced but we managed to overcome that challenge, especially with the support and guidance from MARii and other industry players.” Syazwan said.
MARii has assisted EcoPhoton through technical advices in the areas of battery storage, by advising on the batteries’ arrangement in regards to their size, as well as their placement in a battery box.
“MARii has been helping us through monetary sponsorship and technical advices, especially since MARii is now involved in making sure that Malaysia progresses towards electric mobility. We have been given advice and guidance on how to properly arrange our battery pack based on our own specifications and needs”, Syazwan explained.
He continued, “We also received guidance from experienced lecturers, professional engineers in the automotive industry and industrial partners during our fabrication process. As students, we’re normally involved with engineering works in a theoretical manner but with the help from the various parties mentioned earlier, we were able to go through the fabrication process with ease using industrial-grade equipment.”.
Syazwan’s participation in BWSC 2019 has earned him plenty of experience but the one thing he treasures the most is the knowledge and information he gained.
“Sharing knowledge with other teams from different countries really broadened my horizon as a student and as a future engineer. I was able to see how and why some countries are more developed than others and how I could use those insights gained to hopefully help bring Malaysia, especially in terms of solar development and innovation, to a global scale.”, he said.
He added, “My advice to Malaysians is for them to always adapt and adopt new technologies as technology continuously advances. If we are afraid to try something new, we wouldn’t get the chance to prove our capabilities in solar technology and innovation, especially in the areas of electric mobility. It would be great to see all of the research and work done throughout EcoPhoton’s history be applied or be used by the industry.”.
The whole team comprises of 28 undergraduate students from multidisciplinary backgrounds and is divided into several departments which include various technical and non-technical job scopes.
For more information on EcoPhoton Solar Racing Team, visit this link: www.facebook.com/uitmecophoton
*All photos in this article are courtesy of EcoPhoton’s media team