Innoptus Solar Team: Did you know...
To get to know the Innoptus Solar Team even better, we've collected 9 facts you probably didn't know yet.
On Sunday, October 22 2023, the Innoptus Solar Team will be at the start of the World Solar Challenge, the world championship for solar cars in Australia. Their goal is to cross the finish line first with the Infinite, the 10th Belgian solar car, after a challenging 3021 kilometer journey. But you already knew this! Yet there are also many things that are not generally known. To get to know the Innoptus Solar Team even better, we've collected 9 facts you probably didn't know yet. Did you know...
... Each team member made a promise, which will be fulfilled if the Infinite finishes first?
These promises vary widely. Some team members promise to get a piercing or tattoo, others will take on the next challenge such as participating in a marathon or triathlon. The pledges are a playful way to create even more enthusiasm toward the race.
... The team slogan is "Will it make the boat go faster?"
The team was introduced to this slogan through some sessions with their mental coach. The goal is to get everyone looking in the same direction so that they work and prepare the solar car with the same vision. Specifically, this means that the students' main goal is to make the solar car as fast as possible and they always refer back to this common vision in discussions.
... Every night in Australia ends with a game of volleyball or soccer?
The team members of the Solar Team are not only engineering students, most of them are also athletes. Since it is important to be in top shape both physically and mentally for the race, time is made for sports and relaxation. Among team members, volleyball and soccer are especially popular. Consequently, these are the most played sports in the evening.
... 3 of the support cars are equipped with a full weather station?
This allows the team to predict and monitor the weather. This is very important in a solar car race because the strategy depends heavily on the weather. The more sunshine, the more energy and the faster the solar car can drive. Is bad weather predicted? Then it is necessary to save energy and drive slower or just faster to avoid the bad weather and clouds.
... 4 team members explored and mapped the entire route?
In early September, 4 team members traveled the World Solar Challenge route in reverse. This allowed them to note how many road trains (long trucks) they encountered per day and how many spring grids the solar car will have to face during the race (factoid: there were 82!). This way they are well prepared for the race and surprises are avoided as much as possible.
... The pilots sweat about one liter per hour?
To get the solar car to the finish line as fast as possible, it must be as economical as possible. Thus, there is no air conditioning. With outside temperatures up to 45°C, it can get up to 55°C inside the solar car. Fortunately, the pilots are well prepared. In Belgium, under the guidance of the Exercise Physiology Research Group at KU Leuven, they did some heat training. They then had to spend 2 hours in a sauna while sitting in a race simulator. In addition, they will also wear a cooling vest during the race to avoid overheating.
... All of the Infinite's energetic components are made in-house?
The solar panel as well as the battery and motor were designed and manufactured in-house. This allows the students to design these components completely as they want to make the solar car as efficient as possible. It also ensures that the team has even more insight and can solve problems themselves when they arise.
... The Infinite can drive 90km/h solely with the sun's energy?
When the sun shines, the solar car can drive 90km/h without using the battery. This is achieved thanks to the high efficiency of the solar panel, the fuel-efficient engine, the aerodynamic shape of the car, the low weight of the car,... All these contribute to the low consumption that allows the solar car to reach a high speed even without a battery.
... The tenth Belgian solar car has a lower aerodynamic drag than Remco Evenepoel?
Remco Evenepoel is known for his aerodynamic stance while cycling. After wind tunnel testing with the Infinite, it appears that the car has an even lower drag. This is due to the pointed shape of the car that was optimized by the team with more than 1,000 simulations using Ansys software solutions.
Want to follow the Innoptus Solar Team and the Infinite during the World Championships in Australia? Follow them on our LinkedIn pages or through the team's channels.