Stella Era’s new solar panel arrives in Darwin thanks to partners and fans
27 September, Darwin – During transport from the Netherlands to Darwin part of the solar panel of Stella Era was damaged. Today, a new panel has arrived that will replace the damaged part. The custom-made panel is a crucial factor during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge to gain enough solar energy to be able to cover the stages of the 3000 km route. Only because of the help of the team’s partners and fans the panel arrived on time to finish the preparations for the start on the 13th of October on time.
During the transport of the solar car to Australia, one of the solar panels was severely damaged by a wooden beam of the transport box. Stella Era’s solar roof consists of 5 m2 solar cells and is divided into multiple panels. The damaged panel happened to contain the highest-efficiency solar cells because of its location on the roof and was completely dysfunctional when it arrived in Darwin.
Today, with the help of partners and many supporters, a new custom-made solar panel arrived in Darwin. Carijn, team manager: “The team is incredibly thankful for the support we received, especially from our partners ING, Neways, and AAE and the people who contributed to our crowdfunding campaign. Our partners Wattlab and Meilink/IPS Technology also delivered incredible work by producing a new panel and a custom flight case on such short notice.”
Carijn: “Both the partners involved and our fans have been very supportive. It’s hard not to lose heart when something you’ve worked so hard on is put at risk by such bad luck. These people supported us and made it possible to finance, develop and transport one of the most important parts of the car. The team is ready to catch up and get ready for the challenge!”.
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts on 13 October. In six days, the participating solar cars cover a distance of more than 3000 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide. In the coming two weeks, the team will install the solar panel and validate its functioning through testing.
Solar car damaged during transport to Australia
Darwin, Australia – The solar car of Solar Team Eindhoven suffered considerable damage during the crossing from the Netherlands to Australia. Along the way a hole in the solar panel was caused by one of the wooden beams of the transport box. The damage jeopardizes the preparations of the ruling world champion for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. “Our motto is that there is a solution for every problem, but this will cost a lot of valuable time.”
The solar car of the Eindhoven students arrived in Darwin on 5 September. In Darwin, the starting place of the competition, the students of Eindhoven University of Technology will in the coming weeks make the final preparations for the world championship for solar cars.
“The planning was already very tight this year because we chose to develop additional innovations such as autonomous driving. In the coming weeks a lot has to be tested and the transport damage means that even less time remains. The fewer kilometers we can make, the smaller the chance of a reliable car.” says Marije Sesink, PR Manager.
“The roof of the car consists of several solar panels, which in turn consist of separate solar cells. The transport box in which the car was transported probably had such a big blow during transport that one of the beams broke through the sturdy protective cover of the solar panel and caused damage to one of those panels. “
A DISSAPOINTING REUNION
The students arrived in Darwin at the same time as the transport box and were looking forward to unpacking. Sesink explains: “The car has been on a journey of three weeks and went through multiple customs controls. We were eager to check whether everything would be the way we packed it up. However, it was already apparent from the outside of the transport box that she had had a hard time during the journey. “
The broken solar panel must be completely dismantled to subsequently investigate what can be reused. Niels Dirks, responsible for the solar panel, says: “Of course we have spare panels, but on this panel lay the solar cells that came out of our tests with the highest efficiency. By looking at whether we can save a number of cells and reassembling the panel, we hope that we will not have to compromise on what the panel will yield. “
In the coming five weeks, the 4-seater will be extensively tested and the team will prepare for the jury assessment and the efficiency race. The team from Eindhoven participates with their “charging station on wheels” in the class for family cars. The team has established itself in an office building with a workshop that is made available by a local partner. The transport box with solar car was delivered here.
BEAT THE DUTCH
Solar Team Eindhoven defends the world title in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The participating teams cover a distance of more than 3000 kilometers from north to south Australia.
The Cruiser Class, where efficiency and application for daily use are concerned, is the counterpart of the Challenger Class, where speed is concerned. The competition starts on October 13 in Darwin and ends on October 20 in Adelaide. The team hopes to win the world title for the fourth time this year.
A financial setback comes with the transport damage. With their crowdfunding campaign, the team hopes to get enough to repair all damage.
New solar car Stella Era is the world’s first ‘charging station on wheels’
Today, the 4th of July, Solar Team Eindhoven presented its new solar car Stella Era. Thanks to its solar paneled roof, this car contains enough energy to theoretically cover a distance of 1800 kilometers; it can also share its abundance of solar energy with other electric vehicles directly. According to the student team at TU/e, this makes it the world’s first charging station on wheels. On top of this, the car has self-driving functions, such as the ability to autonomously search for sunny parking spaces. This is the car that the Eindhoven team will be using to defend its world title during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia in October.
“We’re presenting not only a new solar car but a new era: an era in which cars are not energy consumers but energy sources. That’s why we call her Stella Era,” says Carijn Mulder, team manager of Solar Team Eindhoven. The team presented its fourth family car today, following in the footsteps of predecessors Stella (2013), Stella Lux (2015) and Stella Vie (2017).
AN ENORMOUS CHALLENGE
“If we want to drive emission-free in 2030, as stated in the Dutch climate agreement, around 200 charging stations will have to be installed in the Netherlands every day from now on in order to provide all electric cars with energy by then,” Mulder says. “This is already unrealistic, and 85% of electricity currently comes from non-renewable sources. In short, our society is facing an enormous challenge.”
According to the students, the solution is to use cars as moving charging stations. Stella Era has a range of 1200 kilometers with four occupants, according to the standard European calculation for the range of electric cars. The distance that the students hope to travel by car during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will be as much as 1800 kilometers. The average distance that motorists travel each day in the Netherlands is around 50 kilometers, leaving a large part of the energy available.
In addition, the car takes the weather forecast and the kilometers still to be traveled into account, accurately determining how much energy it has left to share. The Stella App, developed by the team, allows the owner to sell valuable solar energy to other electric cars.
Another striking new feature of the car is that Stella Era uses autonomous functions to drive itself to a sunny parking space, allowing it to be recharged throughout the day. “Stella Era is a car that always gets the most out of the sun, even without a driver – a car that looks for the sunniest spot in the parking lot itself. As a result, Stella Era is not just a solar car but also an autonomous source of energy,” says Mick van der Spoel, project manager of the student team.
Is this car going to get the world title to Eindhoven for the fourth consecutive time? Photo: Bart van Overbeeke
TO SPAIN ON A SINGLE BATTERY CHARGE
The latest Stella has a much greater range than the average electric car. This is due to the fact that the energy yield of the five square meters of solar panels has been increased while the energy consumption has been reduced.
“Aerodynamics, weight and electrical efficiency are all important for low energy consumption. We’ve greatly improved the electrical efficiency this year by developing the complete powertrain ourselves. What is currently on the market just doesn’t meet the requirements for a solar car,” says Van der Spoel.
It’s for this reason that the team has designed and built the complete powertrain, from the Battery Management System to the electric motors and from A to Z in just 10 months. As a result, Stella Era can travel more than four times as far with a battery pack similar in size to that of a today’s average electric family car, even without sunshine.
BEAT THE DUTCH
In October, the Eindhoven team will defend its world title during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. During the world championship for solar cars, in which 50 teams from all over the world participate, the students have to cover a distance of 3022 km. Solar Team Eindhoven is the only Dutch team that is participating in the family car class.
Van der Spoel explains: “In contrast to previous years, we are only allowed to charge twice, with the largest distance between two charging points being 1200 km. And because we want to cross the finish line even in the rain and with a headwind, we built this car so that it can cover that distance on one battery charge, even when the sun isn’t shining.”
Nieuwe zonneauto gefinancierd met worstenbroodjes
De populaire worstenbroodjes van het Eindhovense familiebedrijf Houben Worstenbrood worden vanaf heden op een bijzondere locatie afgebakken. Het bedrijf lost het gebrek aan capaciteit in de eigen ovens op door samen te werken met de studenten van Solar Team Eindhoven. In een door de studenten zelfgebouwde oven worden vanaf deze week naast de onderdelen voor de nieuwe zonneauto wel vierduizend worstenbroodjes per dag gebakken.
Houben Worstenbrood kampt al tijden met capaciteitsproblemen, “We bakken vaak wel 4000 worstenbroodjes per dag, maar dat is bij lange na niet genoeg om alle aanvragen te kunnen voorzien.” vertelt Bart Houben. “Dankzij Solar Team Eindhoven’s reusachtige oven kan Houben Worstenbrood doorgroeien en daarnaast ook bijdragen aan een duurzame toekomst.”. De studenten krijgen een deel van de opbrengst van de verkochte ‘zonnebroodjes’ om de nieuwe auto mee te financieren.
Om half 7 vanochtend stonden de mannen van Houben Worstenbrood op de stoep bij de Brainport Industries Campus; de productielocatie van Solar Team Eindhoven. Terwijl de studenten mallen prepareren vullen de bakkers honderden stukjes deeg met varkensgehakt. Omstebeurt gaat er een lading worstenbroodjes of een van de enorme mallen de oven in. De mallen worden gebruikt om de grote onderdelen van de zonneauto van het lichte en sterke materiaal koolstofvezel te maken. Volgens Luuk van Voorst is het een efficiënte samenwerking: “In de tijd dat wij de mallen schuren en bekleden met lagen koolstofvezel wordt de oven niet gebruikt. En met een lege oven valt geen droog brood te verdienen.”
Sinds maart zijn de studenten van Solar Team Eindhoven volop bezig met de productie van de nieuwe zonneauto op de Brainport Industries Campus. Voor het eerst in de geschiedenis van het team wordt de auto volledig in Eindhoven geproduceerd. Om dit mogelijk te maken bouwden de studenten zelf een zeecontainer om tot oven die wordt gebruikt voor het afbakken van de wel vijf meter lange mallen. Ondanks dat de bouw al is gestart worstelen de studenten nog met de financiering van het project: “samenwerkingen met grote namen uit de regio zijn broodnodig.”.
De eerste lading ging als warme broodjes over de toonbank, maar het hoogtepunt van de samenwerking moet nog komen. In de zomer staat Houben bijna elke dag met een foodtruck op een festival en presenteert het team de zonneauto. “Een zonneauto is méér dan een auto, het is een energiefabriek op wielen” aldus Luuk van Voorst. Wat de potentie is van de zonneauto als energiefabriek op wielen? “Nu bouwen we een zonneauto dankzij worstenbroodjes, wie weet bouwen we in de toekomst worstenbroodjes met een zonneauto.”
Milestone: the production kick-off
After half a year of brainstorming, designing, and making choices, the time has finally come: the construction of the solar car has started! On Friday, March 15, we launched the production of a car that embodies the mission of Solar Team Eindhoven 2019; a car that accelerates the transition to sustainable mobility through the optimal use of solar energy.
Our partners were welcomed at the brand new production location on the Brainport Industries Campus in Eindhoven. Carlo van de Weijer, head of the Strategic Area Mobility, and Ton Backx, professor of Electrical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, together with team members laid the first layer of carbon fiber for the new car. This kicked off the realization of the design that the team has been working on for over half a year.
The milestone is extra special because it is the first Eindhoven solar car that is produced entirely in Eindhoven. Previous teams had to travel to the north of the country for several months due to lack of facilities nearby. Thanks to the collaboration with the Brainport Industries Campus and SDK Vastgoed, the team stays close to home. The only thing missing was an oven large enough to bake the molds up to five meters long. As a result, Solar Team Eindhoven is no longer just building solar cars, but also ovens.
Mick van der Spoel and Evan Quadvlieg, the project manager and technical acquisition manager of the fourth Solar Team Eindhoven, welcomed those present: “Some of you have been involved in the project since 2012, others are now joining with full confidence in what is yet to come. But what are our future plans?”. The team has set major goals for 2019, which have been shaped by two major factors; the changes to the rules of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and the targets set for 2030 in the climate agreement. With the new solar car, we not only want to prolong the world title but above all demonstrate a concept for achieving sustainable mobility.
The goals for 2019 give the team members an enormous amount of motivation. In just four months we turn the design into a solar car that opens up the road towards a future in which life is powered by the Sun. On July 4 we will unveil the solar car and its features.
Solar Team Eindhoven builds new solar car on the Brainport Industries Campus
Eindhoven, 28 January 2019
Team Eindhoven’s fourth solar-powered family car will be produced at the
brand-new Brainport Industries Campus (BIC). The students will be given a place
in the so-called ‘factory of the future’, where they will start the production
of the innovative solar car on the first of March 2019.
Part of the students of Solar Team
Eindhoven will exchange their office on the TU/e campus for a workshop on the
BIC. The team, consisting of 27 students, has been working on the design of a
family car powered by solar energy since September that is to compete in the
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2019. The production of the car
will result from a unique collaboration with the BIC; the place where
innovative high-tech companies and organizations join forces. For the first
time since the foundation of Solar Team Eindhoven in 2012, the solar car will be
produced entirely in Eindhoven, opening up many opportunities.
than just a production location
Carijn Mulder, Team Manager, confirms that
the enormous green building of the BIC not only offers sufficient space for
building a solar car but also offers plenty of opportunities. “For
example, we are working on setting up collaborations with students from the
Summa College for milling work and Engie supports us in setting up the
workplace. The fact that at the BIC facilities, knowledge and the drive to innovate
come together makes it an ideal place for us to realize our dream. “
product of an ecosystem
Ferdinand Gremmen, SDK Vastgoed, developer
of the BIC, welcomes the students: “The fact that Solar Team Eindhoven is
coming to the BIC is great news. The solar car that the team develops is the
perfect example of a high mix, high complexity, low volume product where
innovation comes first. “
“This collaboration is exactly what
the Brainport Industries Campus stands for as ‘Factory of the Future’ and that
really brings the arrival of the team to life. The other residents of the BIC
are triggered to contribute with their knowledge, facilities, and expertise. In
this way, the car that will appear at the start in Australia in October will be
a product of our ecosystem. “
for the student team
A sustainable, accessible and comfortable
production location is not a given fact for the student team. Previous teams
have built the car in not-ideal circumstances all over the country. Carijn
Mulder: “We need an oven the size of a sea container and these are not
easy to find, which is why part of the team that produced Stella Vie spent
weeks on a camping. Thus, having a production site close to home is extremely
important for improving the team process. “
European Solar Challenge
Rain or sunshine; we had a great time at the European Solar Challenge this weekend! It might have been the rainiest race in the history of Solar Challenges. This presented an extra challenge for the solar cars, but also showed that solar cars have an incredible range even when the weather is not like Down Under.
The European Solar Challenge took place on Friday 21 until Sunday 23 September on the Circuit Zolder racing track. The final score of each team depended on the KO Chicane, the presentation and the only 24-hour endurance race in the world for solar cars. The teams could charge their batteries twice during the 24 hour period. We congratulate Solar Team Twente for prolonging their title in the ESC Challenger Class and Lodz Solar Team for winning the ESC Cruiser Class!
Stella Vie scored the maximum points on the presentation and became third in the fastest lap with a 3 minutes and 28 seconds! From 13:00 Saturday to 13:00 Sunday both Stella Vie as well as the team were tested on their endurance during the 24-hour race. One of Stella Vie’s components turned out to be not as waterproof as expected, which caused issues throughout the race. The engineers worked the whole night on fixing Stella Vie and managed to get her back on the road again so she could finish the race.
The ups and downs during the challenge this weekend were a great learning experience for the new team members. The team present at the European Solar Challenge was a combination of experienced and new Solar Team Eindhoven members. The more experienced team members took the chance to show the new members the Solar Team mentality and workings of a Solar Challenge. This weekend definitely was great motivation and learning opportunity for the team that is currently preparing themselves for the World Solar Challenge in 2019!
Samenwerking Ecorus en Solar Team Eindhoven
Samenwerking Ecorus en Solar Team Eindhoven
Deelnemen aan een solar team is niet niks, het is een jaar van hard werken en veel tegenslagen overkomen. Gelukkig doe je dit niet alleen. Samen met een multidisciplinair team van super gemotiveerde studenten overkom je de moeilijkste uitdagingen omdat je allemaal werkt aan hetzelfde doel; de wereld laten zien wat er al mogelijk is op het gebied van duurzame energie en mobiliteit. Na een jaar hard werken worden deze slimme oplossingen getest met een van de gaafste experimenten die er bestaan; de World Solar Challenge in Australië.
Sinds deze editie van de World Solar Challenge is Ecorus partner van Solar Team Eindhoven. Ecorus is opgericht door een aantal deelnemers van de vorige World Solar Challenges (met het Punch Powertrain Solar Team en Nuon Solar Team, die dit jaar respectievelijk een fantastische derde en eerste plek in de Challenger klasse hebben weten te behalen). Samen delen zij dezelfde missie als Solar Team Eindhoven; een wereld die volledig draait op duurzame energie. Dat zij zijn ontstaan uit solar teams is nog steeds merkbaar in de bedrijfscultuur. Samen met multidisciplinaire collega’s pak je grootschalige zonne-energieprojecten op en probeer je tot slimme nieuwe oplossingen te komen. Vooral het gebruik van dit multidisciplinaire team, van zowel ervaren als young-professionals, heeft ervoor gezorgd dat Ecorus de voorbije jaren op een snelle manier heeft kunnen blijven groeien. Grote problemen en nieuwe uitdagingen worden er niet uit de weg gegaan om het uiteindelijke doel, de energie tranistie versnellen, te bereiken. Ondermeer door Solar Team Eindhoven te steunen willen ze dat het talent een weg vindt naar de industrie om zo grootschalige zonneprojecten waar te kunnen maken.
Newsletter 25: fitting everything in