On the way to become the World Solar Champion 2015!
149 kilograms heavy, 4,5 metres long, 1,8 metres wide and 1,1 metres in height… meet the “Red One”, the solar electric car, designed and build by the Solar Team Twente. For almost one and a half year 19 students have worked dedicatedly on the realization of their own solar electric car at the Technical University of Twente. Their mission? Competing ánd winning the World Solar Challenge 2015, a prestigious 3.000 kilometres long solar race held in the Australian Outback. As one of the partners, TMC is sponsoring the Solar Team Twente in their ambitious dream to build the world’s fastest solar car and becoming the champion of the World Solar Challenge 2015!
‘After getting a strong team together of 19 dedicated students, we started with our solar car concept one and a half years ago,’ Wouter Put, responsible of external relations states. ‘This concept is an improved design of the RED Engine, the solar car made by the previous Solar Team of our university. The Red One has an outstanding asymmetric design, so that the car absorbs the maximum sunlight for generating energy. In addition, our design is aerodynamically better than a symmetric model, because the driver is integrated in the wheel covering. Besides that, the Red One has extremely low power consumption, due to the very efficiently working motor. We are convinced that with this remarkable design we have a super sustainable solar car to win the World Solar Challenge 2015!’
The World Solar Challenge is organised every two years and it challenges teams from all over the world to build the best sustainable solar car and compete in a 3.000 kilometres race through the Australian Outback. ‘Unique for Solar Team Twente is that students from several levels and disciplines – like mechanical engineering, electronics and marketing – have joined our team,’ Irene van den Hof, team lead tells. ‘The team consists of students with different studies and backgrounds from the Technical University of Twente, Saxion in Deventer and ROC Twente, who are somehow involved in our project. All students are extremely dedicated. The 19 team members have put their study on hold to join in the one and a half year solar project that is taking all their spare time. They see it as an unique opportunity to develop their talents and skills in a challenging and outstanding project!’
Powered by human energy
To realize their ambition the Solar Team Twente started a partnership with several outstanding companies in high-tech industries, like TMC. ‘We first met TMC during an event at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht and we’re very inspired by TMC’s vision and way of working,’ Irene tells. ‘That’s why we were very happy when TMC decided to sponsor our team. Besides the financial part, the partnership with TMC has offered us a lot of opportunities in terms of expanding our knowledge and increasing our network!’ ‘During the past editions of the World Solar Challenge we have been one of the sponsors of the Solar Team Twente and we believe we have found a unique way to contribute to innovation and education,’ Paul Bekkers, director of TMC Physics states. ‘This year in particular we were very surprised by the remarkable design, the entrepreneurial skills and the dedication of the team members. In addition, we fully endorse this year’s slogan “power by human energy” and notice a lot of similarities between TMC’s vision in which the power of the human factor in technology is emphasized. Moreover, sponsoring this project enables us to meet new talents and get connected to universities and other partners of the Solar Team Twente. Besides that, we’re very excited to contribute to a new solar technology. With the remarkable design of the Red One, I think this year they have a serious chance of winning the competition!’
The Solar Team Twente emphasizes that it is their goal to win the World Solar Challenge 2015. ‘It’s only a few weeks until the race,’ Wouter tells. ‘On October 18th we will start the race in Darwin and hopefully we will end five days later in Adelaide (with an average speed of 90/100 kilometres per hour). Currently, we’re testing the car in various conditions and the drivers are trained to act in an environment where the temperature can go up to 45 degrees Celsius!’ ‘Unique is our battery management system and Wi-Fi connection that enables the team to keep in contact with the driver and to control the car remotely in case of emergency,’ Irene adds to this. ‘Also, we make use of a system that gives us access to very accurate weather data. In this way we have actual information and data available for an accurate strategy to determine our speed. Together with our unique design and winning mentality, we believe this will help us to be the first one at the finish in Adelaide!’