World Solar Challenge
In the 2013 edition of the World Solar Challenge, university teams from around the globe will compete using their own solar car to race from Darwin to Adelaide. The team will race across a total of 3000 kilometers of the Stuart Highway, which runs straight through the Australian desert.
The Solar Team Eindhoven will compete in the Cruiser Class. This means that next the criterion of speed, the car will be judged for the number of people transported, the amount of electricity taken from the grid, and its user friendliness. So for this class the challenge is obviously more than just a race. Since the Solar Team Eindhoven wants to contribute to the development of a car of the future, the design demands more than just a focus on speed. Comfort, ease of use, and feasibility are all key terms.
A large part of the energy to be used will be collected by solar cells as we travel. During the race, there are only three opportunities to recharge the relatively small battery, which means the car has to be able to independently drive a minimum of 750 kilometers on electric energy. Besides the issue of energy and its management, navigation, safety and support will be essential. Once the race starts in Darwin, the teams are permitted to drive until 5.00 p.m. in the afternoon. After that, they have to set up camp in the outback and be ready to leave again at 8.00 a.m. The teams must be completely self reliant and must reach all seven checkpoints.
During its first year, the Solar Team Eindhoven will face many challenges. The user friendly and comfortable electric car, which will be mainly powered by solar energy, will have to be designed from scratch. The design of the car of the future has to meet the needs of modern consumers. The car must be capable of transporting a family from the Netherlands to France in one day, it needs to be suitable for the daily commute to work, and it needs to achieve all this in comfort. The knowledge available at Eindhoven University of Technology combined with the insights from high-tech industry will be implemented in the design, the production and in testing. This collaboration will strengthen the team of top-ranking students.
The Solar Team Eindhoven will participate in the brand-new Cruiser Class category of the World Solar Challenge. This will be the beginning of a tradition in which the Solar Team Eindhoven will successfully participate in this race in Australia, realizing greater ambitions every year.
We would like to share our enthusiasm for technology and a sustainable future by actively reaching out to a larger audience through events, regional activities and providing information to schools. We want to show the Netherlands the value of sustainable energy and what options there are, as well as inspire others to create new innovations.
Low air resistance
With a minimal front surface and optimal aerodynamics, the car will have much less air resistance compared to the average present-day family car. A substantial reduction in energy use should be possible.
Super-light & reliable design
By using high-quality materials and smart construction techniques, the car shall remain super lightweight without losing any of its reliability.
Modular electric network
The network in the car will be an open development. A system will be created in which all components will be exchangeable and are recognized by the car. This change will be taken into account in the driving strategy, energy management and communication with the driver. This will provide a solid foundation for follow-up research for the next solar car.
Highly efficient solar panels
The car has a large surface with high-yield silicum solar panels that will generate almost half the required energy. Thus, the range of the car will be considerably improved, so that large distances can be travelled every day.
Comfortable & User friendly
Other than the cars participating in the Challenger Class, the car will be able to cope with standard daily situations. There will be space for several passengers, getting in and out of the car will be easy, and the trip will be comfortable.
In collaboration with the Department of Industrial Design all ideas regarding the driving of a car will be completely revamped. Communication between the car and the driver will be more transparent, logical and intuitive than the family cars of today. The driver will be informed about all decisions the car makes, but will not be hampered by the car’s underlying complexity.
The car will factor in all available information, such as weather, road and traffic conditions in determining its optimal cruising speed.
English version in progress.
Remi van Riet
Chief Structural Design
Jordy de Renet
System Architect Electrical Engineering
Chief Strategy and Software
Signals and Control
Juliette van der Lof
Signals and Control
Support core team
To realize the car of the future we would like to collaborate with you. You can support us by means of knowledge, materials, production means or financial means. As a guide for the various options for collaboration, seven packages have been defined.
As main sponsor we shall discuss the composition of an extensive and fitting package with you. The options below may be part of this package, as well as determining the team name and other benefits.
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