Energy Breakthrough

What is Energy Breakthrough?

For many years, several of our students have been working early every day constructing a vehicle for the Energy Break-through competition. For those of you who are unaware of what this program is, Energy Break-through is a competition in which students design, build and race a vehicle entirely from scratch. Ballarat High School competes in the human powered division, which involves building a vehicle that is propelled purely through the efforts of human pedalling.
But these are more than mere bicycles; they are the product of months of work. The students pour sweat and labour into their creations during every spare lunch-break and after-school session.
The vehicles are put to the test at a race every year.  The vehicles compete over a continuous period of 24 hours, involving nearly 900 km of distance. Over 30,000 people converge on Maryborough every year, competing for the honour and glory of victory. Teams from all over our vast continent compete, and there are even rumours of international entries.

What is the Rat Pack?

Every year, Ballarat High School enters a dedicated team in the Energy Break-through competition. This devoted and enthusiastic crowd goes by the name of the “Rat Pack”. Members of the team come from every year level of Ballarat High School, and train for months in preparation for the event. To find out how you can get involved, refer to the “How can I get involved” section below.

Energy Breakthrough 2017

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Design Innovation Award (2006) for a revolutionary pedalling design innovation.


Our Sponsors:

Fith wheelers Ballarat
Ballarat Embroidery
Berry signs
Skin Ski & Surf
Dominos Pizza
Cycle City
Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals Ballarat
A&J Fibreglass

Sponsors who have supported us in the past
JG King Homes
Konica Photocopiers
Burkes Office Supplies
The City of Ballarat
Budget Embroidery
Sunnicrust Bakery

Without these sponsors, we could not participate in Energy Breakthrough.


The RACV Energy Breakthrough
World Solar Challenge
Human Powered Vehicle Suppliers:
MR Components
Electric Vehicles
Freedom HPVs
Flying Furniture

Australian and related HPV Events

Australian International Pedal Prix
Wonthaggi Human Powered Grand Prix
Maroondah MEGT Grand Prix
Maryborough Technology Challenge (Queensland)
Casey Cycling Festival (Berwick)
Energy Breakthrough - South Africa

Energy Breakthrough Sponsors

Country Education Project
Central Goldfields Shire Council
Central Highland Water
Powercor Australia
Bendigo IT
KFC Maryborough
Sustainable Energy Information Partnership

 Participating Schools 

 Bairnsdale Primary School
Berwick Secondary College
Damascus College
New Gisborne Primary School Pushcart Team
Oberon High School
Weeroona College Bendigo
Willmott Park PS


In 1999, Mr Glenn Orr arranged for the first ever BHS team to compete at the Maryborough event. He oversaw the team that constructed and raced BHS’ first Energy-Breakthrough bike. The vehicle was simple in construction and design - complete with a green-speed frame with a lightweight faring on the front. Ballarat High School has been competing ever since, and in 2006, we ran two bikes - one without fibreglass body and the other with a new, revolutionary pedal system. The new revolutionary innovation in pedalling technology won the team a Design Innovation Award.


Parts from all over the world have been specially imported for the vehicle’s construction and senior testing at RMIT have ensured its aerodynamic capability. One of the great difficulties involved with the competition is the challenge of constantly improving the design, technology, mechanics and aerodynamics of the vehicles. Ballarat High School was fortunate enough to be awarded a first prize for design innovation last year, for what can only be described as a revolutionary improvement in pedalling technology engineered by last year’s team.

How Can I Get Involved?

If you are a student and you wish to be part of this exciting initiative, please contact Mr Raneberg in the Technology Building.
The Team is always looking for specialist support from the Community and Industry. Without such support, it would be impossible to run the team as well as we do. If you feel you could contribute to this fantastic school program, please contact Mr Kym Raneberg on 5338 9000 or email 114,97,110,101,98,101,114,103,46,107,121,109,46,100,64,101,100,117,109,97,105,108,46,118,105,99,46,103,111,118,46,97,117