Solar car damaged during transport to Australia

07 - 09 - 2019

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. “


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.


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.