Eoly supports Leuven students in World Solar Challenge
October 8 will see the start of the World Solar Race in Australia. This is a biannual race for solar-powered cars. The international race is approximately 3,000 kilometres long and crosses Australia. This year Eoly, Colruyt Group's green energy manufacturer and supplier, is one of the official partners to the Belgian Solar Team. And with good reason, because the solar car and Eoly share the same ambitions: to stimulate, promote, and actively use solar power in useful ways.
Solar car from Leuven
Belgium has been represented by a team of engineering students from the University of Leuven since 2005. This year, the team consists of twenty-one students, who have built ‘Punch Two’. This solar car is smaller, lighter, and faster than its predecessor, ‘Punch One’. Joachim Verheyen, Solar Team's team manager, explains: “In order to qualify for the world championship in Australia, the cars have to meet several standards, which change every year. This year, we're only allowed to use 4 m² of solar panels. This forced us to adjust the design, which is why the Punch Two is smaller than the Punch One.” And although there are fewer solar panels on the car, this has not diminished its speed.
Working together with Eoly
Eoly, a green energy manufacturer and pioneer in new sustainable technologies, is especially proud of this collaboration. Stephan Windels, Eoly's business unit manager, says: “It was these students’ entrepreneurial drive and dynamics that pushed us over the edge. We support them in this great adventure, which shows what renewable energy sources can do in the future. We at Eoly are all hoping for the first Belgian winner of the Solar Challenge.”But that's not where the story ends: Eoly wants to help the students improve the solar panels’ cooling system in time for the 2019 World Solar Challenge.
Before leaving for Australia, the Punch Two was exhaustively tested at the Ford racetrack in Lommel. Under ideal circumstances, the solar car reached a top speed of 120 km/h. “We've been working on the car for more than a year, and we dreamed of reaching speeds like this. The maximum speed in Australia is 120 km/h. Going faster is entirely pointless”, says team manager Joachim Verheyen .During the Solar Challenge, the car will have an average speed of 80 km/h and speed up when it needs to overtake other solar cars. With 1,500 kilometres on the odometer, the car, as well as the Leuven students, are ready to claim their spot in the top three. That is their ambition. They have failed at winning the race six times so far, and winning it this year would be amazing. Eoly is a proud partner, believing in the Punch Powertrain Solar Team and wishing them good luck.