UK solar car racing team signs CFMS as sponsor, gets access to Cray supercomputer for car design modelling

UK solar car racing team signs CFMS as sponsor, gets access to Cray supercomputer for car design modelling

Aerodynamics modelled using computational fluid dynamics - cuts testing from days to minutes

The UK based solar racing team, Solar Team Great Britain, that is aiming to be the first British team to win the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, has today announced it has signed the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), a specialist in high value design capability, as a strategic sponsor.

The sponsorship will also give Solar Team Great Britain access to CFMS’s state-of-the-art Cray® CS400™ cluster supercomputer, which will be used to speed the design and simulation of the solar powered car.

Steven Heape commented, “We’re seeking to be one of the most advanced teams racing in this category and the backing of CFMS plays a key role in this. The team was last week in Australia collecting tens of thousands of data points about the conditions the team will face in a year’s time, and this will also be used in modelling the car to create the perfect design to cope with these.”

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge begins in October 2017 and sees cars race 3,022 km across the Australian desert, from Darwin to Adelaide. The team will be competing in the Cruiser Class category for multi-seat vehicles. 2017 will be the race’s 30th anniversary.

Solar Team Great Britain is a brand new team and is led by Steven Heape, engineer and renewable energy specialist. The team brings together additional design and engineering experts from organisations including the University of Bristol, the University of Bath, Airbus, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and QinetiQ - showcasing the very best of British engineering skills and innovation.

Sam Paice, Chief Operating Officer, CFMS commented, “We are delighted to support Solar Team Great Britain in its quest to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, working with them to develop and accelerate new technology such as solar energy through the use of advanced modelling and simulation and high performance computing.”

Steven Heape also commented, “The wider vision of the project involves inspiring a new generation of engineers and young professionals to apply talents in sustainability and to encourage the development of vehicles that incorporate solar technology.”

Solar Team Great Britain will race in the Cruiser Class category, where the winner must balance not just speed but practicality and energy efficiency. Key success factors such as payload and energy efficiency will be key considerations applicable to aerodynamic performance. The 2013 event saw a four-seater family car travel the route with an external energy consumption of only 64 kWh. In comparison, a modern family car consumes around 56mpg and will have an energy consumption of approximately 5,000kWh.

Media Contacts

Solar Team Great BritainRob Ashwell, Fourteen Communications, +44 7800 515 001, 

CFMS - Alison Little, +44 117 906 1100,

About Solar Team Great Britain

Solar Team Great Britain is a Bridgestone World Solar Challenge racing team. Its inaugural race will be the 2017 event, which will see it race in the Cruiser Class (family car) category over the 3,022 km from Darwin to Adelaide.

It is the inaugural project of the Sustainable Futures Foundation and is seeking to raise £500,000 through corporate sponsorship.

For more information visit:

About CFMS

The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) is proud to be a growing, independent and not-for-profit organisation that specialises in high value design capability. We promote advanced modelling and simulation, underpinned by HPC, pushing the boundaries of technology.

Through our exceptional, collaborative, virtual and physical facility, we enable the adoption and acceleration of new technologies for advanced modelling and simulation, while improving learning and developing awareness of state-of-the-art. Engaging with organisations large and small, we help to provide access to the right tools, resources, skills and technologies, resulting in increased productivity and faster, more informed decision-making.

As a trusted and neutral provider, our vision is to drive a practical revolution in engineering capability and design, working with organisations to reduce risk in the design phase, product development costs and time to market.

For further information about how CFMS can help your business, view the brochure here, call 0117 906 1100 or email


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