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Episode 33 - Innoptus Solar Team: How fast can you go in a race car powered by the sun?

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“We try to test new things… our solar cells that we used 5 years ago are now the solar cells on your roof.”

 

In 2004, a group of Belgian engineering students built a solar car to compete in the World Solar Challenge, a 3021km endurance race through the Australian Outback. Nineteen years later, the Innoptus Solar team is still going strong, with new students coming together to build new solar racing cars. They are sponsored by PTC Partner Innoptus (part of the 4ITEGO Group) and take part in races all over the world.

 

For the team, success is all about collaboration and innovation, constantly refining  the design of their car to make it faster and more efficient. They are currently double World Champions with their tenth solar car, the Infinite. Clever features like the fin at the back of the car improve aerodynamics and give them an extra bit of help from the wind, and a motor which has been optimised to 98% efficiency helps them to go faster. It is also a fantastic development opportunity for the students involved, with them being able to gain the equivalent of 5 years of development experience in 1 year, as well as have the opportunity to work on a World Champion racing car.

 

Our producer Wederik De Backer went to the Innoptus Solar Team HQ in Leuven to meet two students who are part of the current team, Head of Engineering Jonas Vlamijnck and Mechanical Engineer Jasper Gutschoven. As well as explaining how they became involved and the level of dedication needed to win races, they give us a tour of their workspace and latest car.

 

 

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‎Mar 11, 2024 05:53 PM
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