Innoptus Solar Team unveils latest innovation: "With this, we aim for double gold!"
Monday, 9 October - Today, the Innoptus Solar Team unveiled their latest innovation, the rotating fin. They designed this innovation specifically for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the World Championship that starts on 22 October. They believe this will give them a strong competitive advantage over their opponents.
Building impressive solar cars year after year and constantly optimising them mechanically, energetically and aerodynamically, the Innoptus Solar Team always goes one step further by adding a new innovation. They strive to gain a competitive advantage with this. This year, the team stands out with a rotating fin. Although the fin was already introduced last year, the new feature of rotating the fin brings significant benefits:
''The fin functions like the sail of a sailboat. Just as a sailor continuously adjusts his sails to make the best use of crosswinds, we can now rotate our fin. This allows us to make the most efficient use of crosswinds to propel us forward during the race.''
Vincent Mertens (23, Heist-op-den-Berg), Aerodynamic Engineer
The sailing effect in strong crosswinds will be invaluable during the competition in Australia. A notable feature of the long straight route from Darwin to Adelaide, which the team must complete during the World Cup, is the generally steady wind. With the help of their fin, they can make the most of these favourable conditions.
''Thanks to the rotation of the fin, which creates a sail effect in crosswinds, our car consumes less energy. Sometimes, we even get more energy through the sun than we consume and can therefore drive energy-neutral. This allows us to increase our speed during the race.''
Annelies De Geeter (23, Kessel-Lo), Strategist
For 19 years, the students of the Innoptus Solar Team from Leuven have managed to distinguish themselves by presenting innovative ideas. The Belgian team has already won the innovation prize twice at the World Solar Car Racing Championships. In 2013, this prize was awarded for their 3D printed battery pack, which allowed better cooling of the battery cells. Four years later, in 2017, the team received the innovation award again, this time for their active wheel steering on all four wheels. This innovation allowed the nose of the car to rotate in the direction of the wind while driving in crosswinds, creating a sail effect. With the introduction of the rotating fin, they hope to win this prestigious innovation award again.
'''After winning the innovation award for the first time in 2013, not only winning the World Cup, but also winning this award has become a goal. This year, we are aiming for double gold with the rotating fin.'
Ebert Kiekens (22, Geel), Electrical Engineer