Innoptus Solar Team reveals the tenth Belgian solar car.
Friday, July 14 - Today, the Innoptus Solar Team presented the 'Infinite,' the tenth Belgian solar car. The 20 engineering students worked together for a year on this anniversary solar car. In October, the students from KU Leuven will participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world championship for solar cars held in Australia, with this car.
The students are thrilled to finally introduce their solar car to the outside world. They did so at the Antwerp Havenhuis, a place where innovation and sustainability are central, just like in their project. The team builds a new solar car every two years, and this one will participate in the world championship in Australia later this year.
''As a team, we have been eagerly anticipating this moment. After more than a year of hard work on the design and production, we are proud to finally showcase our solar car to the world. Hopefully, with the Infinite, we can defend our world title.''
Cedric Verlinden (23, Holsbeek), Team Manager at the Innoptus Solar Team.
For this edition of the World Championship, the team members primarily focused on the energetic aspect of the car. The motor and battery pack were significantly optimized, pushing the limits of available technology. The self-designed battery pack allows the car to travel approximately 900 kilometers, equivalent to a trip from Brussels to the south of France, even when the sun isn't shining. This is an increase of 200 kilometers compared to the previous solar car's autonomy.
Additionally, the team also emphasized in-house production of the motor, resulting in an immensely efficient motor capable of reaching a top speed of 170 km/h.
"After extensive research and optimization of the production process, we have managed to build a motor with a higher efficiency than those used by Tesla."
Stan Kelchtermans (25, Heusden-Zolder), Electrical Engineer at Innoptus Solar Team.
Pushing the limits
The team members also continued their work on an innovative design feature called the "fin." This fin is located on the cockpit of the car and unfolds during crosswinds, allowing the car to sail with the wind and consume up to four times less energy. This will be the first time the fin is used in Australia and could provide a significant competitive advantage for the Belgians.
Mechanically, the Infinite has been optimized compared to its predecessors. It is the narrowest Belgian solar car ever and has even sleeker aerodynamics. This reduces energy consumption and enables faster speeds during the race. The mechanical design of the car underwent extensive modifications to achieve its slim profile.
"In the design of the new solar car, we have also implemented a fin. This technology allows us to sail on the crosswinds in Australia, resulting in additional energy savings."
Vincent Mertens (23, Heist op Den Berg), Aerodynamics Engineer at Innoptus Solar Team.
Defending the World Title
Over the next month, the solar car will undergo extensive testing in Belgium before departing for Australia. In Australia, the students will be challenged to drive their solar car from Darwin to Adelaide as quickly as possible. This route spans 3,021 kilometers straight through the Australian Outback. In the previous edition of the World Championship, the Belgians claimed victory. They will defend their title against international teams, including top contenders from the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan. The World Championship will take place from October 22 to 29.