The Umicar Inspire aimed for gold in the 2009 World Solar Challenge. After the second place of the previous solar team, they were convinced that finishing first was achievable. Although the competition was fierce, the team appeared at the start line with a highly remarkable car.
The aerodynamics of the Umicar Inspire was astonishing. It used very little energy to drive at high speeds in the Australian Outback.
It was the first Belgian solar car with a carbon supporting structure, making it less heavy while remaining the strength. They used a state of the art multi-junction solar panel of 8m² in order to maximise the incoming power. At noon, when the sun was at its brightest, the incoming power surpassed the maximal energy usage at the speed limit of 110 km/hr.
The first day of the competition was going smooth, with the solar car driving in second place. While fighting for the first place, disaster struck and the solar car was damaged by heavy winds. The team chose to drive back to Darwin instead of Adelaide to minimise the damage to the car.
Measurements: Length 4.3m - Width 1.8m - Height 1.04m
Weight: 170 kg
Speed: Topspeed 120 km/u, cruising speed of 100 km/u
Motor efficiency: 98% (partly made by the team itself)
Efficiency solar cells: +30%