2005 - 2006 Campaigns

Aurora's Campaigns from 2005 to 2006

Greenfleet Technology Trial

AURORA 101 AND MATE 'TREV' JOIN IN GREENFLEET'S TECHNOLOGY TRIAL

28 March, 2006

It was the turn of the automobiles to receive due attention following the super successful Commonwealth Games staged in Melbourne. Greenfleet led the way, in advance of the 4 day Melbourne Grand Prix carnival, by organising its inaugural 'Technology Trial' for vehicles about to hit the Australian market featuring fuel sipping technologies.

By way of demonstrating an even more efficient future Greenfleet invited the Melbourne based Aurora 101 solar car and the Adelaide based 2 seat electric car 'Trev' to the starting line and to the celebration dinner that evening.

BMW 530D Aurora 101 with the 'Trev' team
BMW's luxury sipper the 530D awaits the start of the Technology Trial Aurora 101 with the 'Trev' team
Trev just itching to go
Trev just itching to go

Fourteen outstanding vehicles passed through the starting arch set up at the entrance to Melbourne Zoo for their 200 kilometre trial to Healesville and back. Even if the drive was a chore the RACV meals of the day were superb for the group of journalists and auto company representatives participating.

Greenfleet patron Peter Brock
Greenfleet patron Peter Brock

Greenfleet patron, the legendary motor racing driver Peter Brock, did best in a 1.9 litre Diesel model Holden Astra recording 4.35 l/100km over the course. In fact the whole fleet of diesel powered entrants recorded excellent fuel economy and better than their petrol equivalents.

The most advanced technology was demonstrated by the Hydrogen fuel cell bus from Perth, Western Australia. This machine is part of the world-wide Daimler Chrysler bus trial program named HyFLEET. This program is gaining real world information and experience through bus fleets into the daily operation of hydrogen supply and normal usage.

On Thursday, 30 March, Greenfleet hosted the HyFLEET program executives at a special leader's forum to give first hand information about the progress of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Both Peter Pudney and David Fewchuk of the Aurora team were in attendance at this special function.

Sara Gipton of Greenfleet at the Leaders's Dinner David Lamb of CSIRO at the Leader's Dinner
Sara Gipton of Greenfleet at the Leaders's Dinner David Lamb of CSIRO at the Leader's Dinner

Wonthaggi 24 Hour Grand Prix

AURORA 101 RELAXED AND DRY IN WONTHAGGI
WONTHAGGI 24 HOUR HPV GRAND PRIX
ENERGY INNOVATION FESTIVAL

25-26 February, 2006

Aurora 101 was back amongst the Human Powered Racers! This time at the Wonthaggi 24 Hour Grand Prix in the south west of Victoria. The Aurora show circuit commenced 9 events ago in December 2005 at the 24 hour race for HPVs backed by RACV in Maryborough in the north west of Victoria.

Aurora 101 meets up with Firetruck and Daniel Mills in practice
Aurora 101 meets up with Firetruck and Daniel Mills in practice

Wonthaggi owes its roots to the establishment of a significant coal mine in 1910. This supplied the Government's steam trains but stopped operations in 1965. It is a famous local tourist attraction and is being modernised to open again in 2009.

Six Aurora team members took turns at demonstrating the Michelin shod Aurora 101 solar car. Driver Kon Kotsonis had the job of doing 3 demonstration laps around the tight 1.4 km track and then the priviledge of being the pace car for the start of the 24 hour Grand Prix itself.

Aurora 101 paces the 24 hour race start
Aurora 101 paces the 24 hour race start

It was the 24 hour HPV racing that inspired the Aurora team to undertake a 24 hour world record for solar cars, setting the mark at 1701 km on 30 January 2006. The HPV distance record at Wonthaggi stood at 753 km set in 2004. Was this going to be a record year for the pedallers?

Aurora heading the field
 

Race organiser Ewan Cole himself a retired pedaller holds the lap record at this track having recorded 2:01.87 in 2002. That's an average speed around the track of 41.98 km/h.

Fastest qualifiers lead in the first lap Second pack in lap one
Fastest qualifiers lead in the first lap Second pack in lap one

Once the official duties of the pace lap were finished the Aurora 101 was set on display as part of the Energy Innovation Festival alongside Don Elliott with the Chisholm 'Eagle' electric car and a Toyota Prius hybrid car. We had a chance to meet Bill Shand, the ace builder of the international class sail boat, the Flying 15. He remembered seeing Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins driving through Yatala in South Australia early in 1983 in the first epic solar car crossing of Australia. Doing the impossible.

Bill Shand Damian Harkin
Bill Shand Damian Harkin

We also met Damian Harkin, member of the Australian HPV Association. They are affiliated with the International HPV organisation founded by US aerodynamicist Chester Kyle. Chester himself has been heavily involved in solar car activities particularly the World Solar Challenge.

Damian brought a number of recumbent bikes which everyone wanted to test ride.

10 year old Gabrielle tries a recumbent Aurora team member and new solar car driver Sally Forsyth
10 year old Gabrielle tries a recumbent Aurora team member and new solar car driver Sally Forsyth
Todd tries out a recumbent
Todd tries out a recumbent

We were watching for the Berwick entry 'Firetruck' with Aurora member Daniel Mills involved. Also we wondered how the new HPV from Greenspeed would go, partially designed by Don Elliott. Then there was Ben Goodall of Trisled, with his entry 'The Apex'.

The big event became the rain. At about 5.30 PM it just poured. For several hours. No let up for the entries on the track. The open cars were soaked, the closed cars were fogged, the track was slippery, the pit crews drenched and the pits just rolling in water. Plenty of activity for the flag marshalls.

Race official beats the rain Enjoying the rain?
Race official beats the rain Enjoying the rain?
Hunchback stops to dry out
Hunchback stops to dry out
The 'Monterey Mauler' Sort of shelter
The 'Monterey Mauler' Sort of shelter
A welcome driver change
A welcome driver change
Greenspeed, fifth place Firetruck, sixth place
Greenspeed, fifth place Firetruck, sixth place
Comet, sixteenth place
Comet, sixteenth place

Former member of State Parliament Susan Davies took pity on Andrew Lamb and his two children and offered a warm and dry dinner before they resorted to spending the night in the solar car trailer. All night the HPVs hummed around the track. The lighting was marginal and there were many shunts to manage. The morning was dry and on the event continued until 12.00 midday.

Andrew Lamb with Susan Davies Aurora 101 sits soaked with Eagle
Andrew Lamb with Susan Davies Aurora 101 sits soaked with Eagle

A new distance record was established by the winning community entry from Bendigo at 563 laps or 788.2 km. And that was in spite of the rain. Ben Goodall finished second just three laps down. Greenspeed finished fifth at 539 laps. Berwick's 'Firetruck' covered 522 laps or 730.8 km to be the best high school finisher.

Now if they were all in solar cars maybe they would be dry but out of battery power.

Full event results can be found at www.racetime.com.au.

2006 Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival

AURORA 101 AND ITS WHEELED FRIENDS STRUT THEIR SUSTAINABLE STUFF
Melbourne's Sustainable Living Festival

17-19 February, 2006

The remarkable and ever growing organisation the Sustainable Living Foundation staged their fourth and best yet Sustainable Living Festival at Melbourne's stunning Federation Square 17-19 February 2006.

The theme is to push against waste, to live with a lighter footprint, to show practical concern about saving disappearing resources and above all to show that all these pursuits can also be fun.

No doubt the attendance figure of 120,000 from 2005 was broken. You could sense this in the bigger crowds, in the more focused questions and the enthusiasm displayed by the many exhibitors.

The display of Aurora 101 and friends
The display of Aurora 101 and friends

The world famous Aurora 101 solar super car was back for its third year at the festival. This time it came back with friends. The stylish single seat electric car 'Eagle' from Chisholm Institute and the super competitive racing HPV 'Firetruck' from Berwick Secondary College. Our display complemented the new Honda Civic hybrid which itself proudly explained its roots in the series of Honda 'Dream' solar cars from 1990 to 1996.

For the real sustainees there were stalls for organic vegetarian dishes, pedal powered fruit smoothies and many forms in which used tyres could live again.

Pedalled fruit smoothies Organic vegetarian lunches
Pedalled fruit smoothies Organic vegetarian lunches
Beautifully recycled rubber
Beautifully recycled rubber

The champions of cycle power had a field day. Many derivatives were on display. Recumbents, 4-wheelers, dual seaters, semi-trailers and work benches. We liked the professionalism of Ben Goodall and his company Trisled with a great range of well built recumbents on display and for sale. Ben is keen to see a Melbourne attempt on the one hour speed record for pedal power which presently stands at 86 km/h.

Ben Goodall of Trisled
Ben Goodall of Trisled

The bikers have a great hearing in the city of Melbourne which itself is trying to stream the flow of cars within its precincts to avoid being choked. Aurora member Darren Trafford joined the bike riders turning up on one to do stand duty. Other weekends he spends as a flag marshal around Victoria's major car racing tracks. 

Four wheel drive plus mobile phone Bikes rule
Four wheel drive plus mobile phone Bikes rule
Darren on his bike
Darren on his bike

Tim Wardrop, another Aurora member is a true bike enthusiast as well as being in training for the next Frisbee world championships. Tim who has just moved from Sydney, had the pleasure of meeting Mick Malthouse, coach of the Collingwood Football Club.

Tim with Collingwood Football Club coach, Mick Malthouse
Tim with Collingwood Football Club coach, Mick Malthouse

Top question about the solar car this year was 'how do you get in?' The children kept looking underneath the smooth solar car for some sort of trap-door device. Sure its not easy to get in through the liftable hatch but some of the long legs were ridiculous.

Yep we are going solar Just too tall to fit
Yep we are going solar Just too tall to fit

The most interesting challenge came from the famous Irish and Dublin based human rights counsel Brendan Kilty. Perhaps attracted by the fact that one of Aurora's major sponsors is Australia's largest law firm, Minter Ellison, Brendan and his son Denis engaged the Aurora members in a serious discussion about 'the Irish solar car'. It doesn't exist as yet but we had the feeling that it might well happen when the Kiltys return to Ireland. The aim? Compete in the incredible solar car rally being planned for 2008 prior to the next Olympics; Olympia, Greece to Beijing, China. We suggested that the Irish entry should be named 'Mary Aurora O'Reilly'.

New Aurora member Denis Kilty from Dublin International Human Rights Counsel, Brendan Kilty
New Aurora member Denis Kilty from Dublin International Human Rights Counsel, Brendan Kilty

The Berwick HPV 'Firetruck' had its high school following. Aurora team member, Daniel Mills, is on the Firetruck team and was just as big an attraction as the HPV itself.

Pedallers view from inside 'Firetruck' Just what is the attraction; maybe Daniel
Pedallers view from inside 'Firetruck' Just what is the attraction; maybe Daniel

Don Elliott, well known for his expertise in composites construction as well as the design of the beautiful Chisholm 'Eagle' electric car, talked himself hoarse. Just everyone loved the shape and size of 'Eagle'.

Schoolies mob the 'Eagle' Don Elliott with his creation
Schoolies mob the 'Eagle' Don Elliott with his creation

We liked seeing Bill Bennett, Aurora team member on the ATA [Alternative Technologies Association] stand. Bill himself has made several volunteer trips to East Timor on volunteer technology ventures. We also liked the many solar power companies such as Going SolarSolarshopSolarcharge and Solaszone. Leading Australian manufacturer and exporter of solar hot water systems Solahart had a comprehensive stand.

ATA against the Melbourne skyline
ATA against the Melbourne skyline

Aurora thanks and complements the Sustainable Living Foundation for staging this timely and relevant festival. Now if we could move some of these energy misers into the Melbourne International Motor Show?! Maybe in 2007.

elbourne gets ready for the Commonwealth Games in March
Melbourne gets ready for the Commonwealth Games in March
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