API STELR Solar Car Kit “How To?”

  Last updated October 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

The API STELR Solar-powered Car Challenge

The API STELR Solar Car Equipment kits (class sets and individual solar car kits) are available from the STELR Project.

The kits were designed and manufactured by IEC in Australia.

The Australian Power Institute provides a limited number of fully-sponsored class sets of solar-powered car kits to selected Australian STELR schools. The schools must undertake to host a visit from a power engineering undergraduate engineer to interact with the students and give a talk about careers in engineering.

Students can build, electrically connect and control their car. They can then devise methods of increasing speed, for example by changing gear box ratios, changing wheel diameters and tyre treads and by reducing wind resistance.

Students can also investigate front and rear wheel drive performances. They can add weights to compare pulling powers. Students problem-solve to reduce friction, increase efficiency, have contests on furthest distance travelled on one capacitor charge, race up hills and more.

The drive assembly can be swivelled so that the cars travel in circles.

The model cars can be assembled by connecting the solar cells directly to the motor. The students can also use switches to run the car using the capacitor as an energy reserve.

The model cars can be dissembled for use by other classes now or in future years.

The module compliments topics covered in renewable energy modules, including:

•Electric circuits

•Energy transfers and transformations

•Solar cells


•Gears / simple machines


Maps to Physical sciences for Years 6, 7, 8 and 10

For more details please visit stelr.org.au

About the Author

Inoka Amarasekara
Inoka Amarasekara joined ATSE in June 2017 as Women in STEM Entrepreneurship (WISE) Project Officer. A recent graduate of the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU, her Master's thesis explored the YouTube science communication gender gap. Inoka has had previous experience in admin, research and advertising.

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