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Eoly supports Leuven students and their solar car

Solar energy: it can be used to charge mobile phones or heat up water for a shower. But did you know that solar panels can also be used to power a car? The technology used in solar cars will not be ready for use in passenger cars any time soon. But who knows what the future will bring? Students from all over the world are building solar-powered cars and battling each other in races stretching over thousands of kilometres. Eoly gladly jumped on the bandwagon: in 2017, our green energy manufacturer will be one of the official partners for a year.


Punch Powertrain Solar Team
 

Belgium has had its own Solar Team since 2005, consisting of twenty-one engineering students from Leuven University. They design and build their own solar car and participate in various international races. The Solar Team's ultimate goal is the World Solar Challenge, a biannual international race through Australia. The solar cars will have to travel approximately 3,000 kilometres in stages, driving all the way from Darwin, in the north, to Adelaide, in the south.

Up to 120 kilometres per hour
 

In order to participate in the World Solar Challenge, the solar car has to meet some criteria. The amount of solar panels, the size, the way the driver is seated, etc. And the car (as well as the driver) have to respect the Australian traffic rules, of course. Taking all these rules into account, the Leuven Solar Team designed the Punch Two.

Punch Two (2017) specifications:

  • 130 kg (30 kg lighter than its predecessor, Punch One)
  • 4 m² in solar panels
  • A top speed of 120km/h
  • Average speed of 80 km/h

 

The students drew up no fewer than 500 designs for their solar-powered car. That makes sense, because everything, from aerodynamics to solar panels, has to be just right during a race.

Read more about Eoly's activities >

solarteam

Working together with Eoly
 

So why did Eoly become an official partner to the Solar Team? “We wanted to do something with innovative and sustainable energy”, says Stephan Windels, business unit manager at Eoly. “It was the students’ entrepreneurial drive and dynamics that pushed us over the edge. On top of that, their adventure shows what renewable energy resources can do in the future.” The collaboration will not end when the race is over. Eoly wants to help the students improve the solar panels’ cooling system in time for the 2019 World Solar Challenge.