Stella Era’s new solar panel arrives in Darwin thanks to partners and fans

27 - 09 - 2019

Engineers open up the transport box with the new solar panel

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.

Inspecting the solar cells on visible inconsistencies

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.