Solar Car Retrospective

After a summer break, this blog is active again. Here is a video retrospective of the recent Solar Challenge Morocco from champions Twente:

And here is one from Delft (formerly Vattenfall Solar Team, now Brunel Solar Team), who are modifying their car for the planned race in South Africa:


Solar Challenge Morocco, Last Day

The five-day Solar Challenge Morocco is over. With sandstorms, flooded roads, and mountain passes having gradients of up to 12%, it was without a doubt the toughest solar car race in the world. Six Challenger Class cars competed (for details, see my illustrated teams list with social media links).

Solar Team Twente (NL, team 21) won the event (as well as winning the day, on adjusted timings). They were followed by:

In addition, Solaride, from Estonia, had the only Cruiser Class car, and raced in Adventure Class. The photograph in the graphic is from Solar Team Twente. Official results are here.


Solar Challenge Morocco, Day 4

Four days of the five-day Solar Challenge Morocco are over. Six Challenger Class cars are competing (see my illustrated teams list with social media links for details). Cars climbed to about 1,280 m today, before descending back to about 730 m. The conditions were also challenging, with roads awash with water.

Solar Team Twente (NL, team 21) holds their lead over Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven, BE, team 8), with Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft, NL, team 3) in third place. The photograph is from Top Dutch. Official results are here.


Solar Challenge Morocco, Day 3

The Solar Challenge Morocco is ongoing, with the race running until 29 October. Six Challenger Class cars are competing (see my illustrated teams list with social media links for details). Cars climbed to about 1,280 m today, before descending back to about 700 m. The weather was also challenging, with clouds and sandstorms.

Solar Team Twente (NL, team 21) has taken the lead from Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven, BE, team 8), with Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft, NL, team 3) in third place. The photograph is from Hans-Peter van Velthoven / Vattenfall. Official results are here.


Solar Challenge Morocco, Day 2

The Solar Challenge Morocco is ongoing, with the race running until 29 October. Six Challenger Class cars are competing (see my illustrated teams list with social media links for details). Cars climbed to about 1,690 m today, before descending to about 700 m. Some of the mountain roads had inclines of up to 12%.

Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven, BE, team 8) is still in the lead overall, although Solar Team Twente (NL, team 21) finished first today. The photograph is from Sonnenwagen Aachen (DE, team 7). Official results are here.


Solar Challenge Morocco, Day 1

The Solar Challenge Morocco has begun, with the race running until 29 October. Six Challenger Class cars are competing (see my illustrated teams list with social media links for details). Cars climbed to about 1,850 m today, before descending to about 730 m.

Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven, BE, team 8) is currently in the lead, followed by Solar Team Twente (NL, team 21), Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft, NL, team 3), and Top Dutch Solar Racing (NL, team 6). The photograph is from Agoria.


Solar Challenge Morocco begins

Scrutineering for the Solar Challenge Morocco has begun, with the race running from 25 to 29 October. Six Challenger Class cars are competing (see my illustrated teams list with social media links for details). The montage above (assembled from team instagram feeds) shows the cars:

That is one 4-wheel bullet car (Top Dutch), three 3-wheel bullet cars, and two 3-wheel asymmetrical catamarans. In addition, Solaride, from Estonia, has the only Cruiser Class car.

Update: qualification lap times were:

  • Top Dutch (NL, team 6): 02:17 (68.69 km/h)
  • Vattenfall (NL, team 3): 02:23 (65.81 km/h)
  • Agoria (BE, team 8): 02:25 (64.90 km/h)
  • Twente (NL, team 21): 02:30 (62.74 km/h)
  • Chalmers (SE, team 51): 02:45 (57.03 km/h)
  • Sonnenwagen Aachen (DE, team 7): car being repaired after an accident
  • Solaride (EE, team 1, Cruiser): –

Update: the route for the event is as follows (the map below shows elevation):

  • Day 1: Agadir to Zagora
  • Day 2: Zagora to Merzouga
  • Day 3: loop from Merzouga
  • Day 4: Merzouga to Zagora
  • Day 5: Zagora to Agadir

Vattenfall is presenting a delayed live feed of the race.


Six new solar cars

For solar car fans, here are six newly revealed cars. They will race at one or both of:

SCM  NL  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Three-wheel (outrigger) challenger (new car: Nuna11) – this year will be the last year that Delft partners with Vattenfall. Starting in 2022, Brunel will be their main sponsor. They have been recruiting for the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge, and will also race in Morocco. Their new car features an asymmetrical top surface (to create more downforce on the left wheel), a new motor cntroller (suitable for hills), and a LiFePO4 battery.


Credit (click image to zoom)

iESC  SCM  NL  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new car: Green Spirit) – they are hoping to race their new car in Morocco.


Credit (click image to zoom)

iESC  SCM  BE  Agoria Solar Team / KU Leuven 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (new car: BluePoint Atlas) – they have built a new car to defend their title. It is named after the Atlas Mountains.


Credit (click image to zoom)

iESC  SCM  NL  Solar Team Twente 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (new car: Red Horizon) – they have built a three-wheeler this year, and will race both at Zolder and in Morocco.


Credit (click image to zoom)

iESC  SCM  DE  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Three-wheel (outrigger) challenger (new car: Covestro Photon) – this team did very well in 2019, in spite of being blown off the road. They are excited about racing at Zolder again. They will race 2 cars at Zolder: the new car (7) and the previous car (70).


Credit (click image to zoom)

iESC  TR  Solar Team Solaris (Dokuz Eylül University) 

Challenger (new car: S11) – they missed the last ESC, but hope to attend the next one with their new car.


Credit (click image to zoom)


Exciting European solar car update

This list is obsolete; new version is here.

Here is a list of 18 European teams from 12 countries (including Turkey and Morocco) – 11 Challengers and 7 Cruisers – intending to race in two major upcoming solar car events in the region this year. These events are:

  • iESC  iLumen European Solar Challenge        (16–19 September): Top Dutch, Aachen, Agoria, Onda, Bochum, Twente, Nottingham, SER, ITU, Eindhoven, Lodz, Solaris, PUT, and Cluj
  • SCM  Solar Challenge Morocco (23–29 October): Solaride, Delft, Top Dutch, Aachen, Agoria, Twente, Chalmers, Mines Rabat, and others – NEW EVENT

In other recent news, several new cars have been revealed.


SCM  EE  Solaride  

Two-seat cruiser (new team) – this new team from Estonia hopes to build a Cruiser. They are based in the city of Tartu.


picture credit (click image to zoom)

SCM  NL  Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Three-wheel (outrigger) challenger (new car: Nuna11) – this year will be the last year that Delft partners with Vattenfall. Starting in 2022, Brunel will be their main sponsor. They have been recruiting for the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge, and will also race in Morocco. Their new car features an asymmetrical top surface (to create more downforce on the left wheel), a new motor controller (suitable for hills), and a LiFePO4 battery.

Previously, Delft won WSC 13; won WSC 15; won WSC 17; came 12th at WSC 19; won SASOL 14; won SASOL 16; and won SASOL 18. Their team number (3) is a long-standing tradition.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

iESC  SCM  NL  Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Challenger (new car: Green Spirit) – they are hoping to race their new car in Morocco.

Previously, Top Dutch came 4th at WSC 19 and came 3rd at iESC 20.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

iESC  SCM  DE  Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Three-wheel (outrigger) challenger (new car: Covestro Photon) – this team did very well in 2019, in spite of being blown off the road. They are excited about racing at Zolder again. They will race 2 cars at Zolder: the new car (7) and the previous car (70). In Morocco they will race as number 7.

Previously, Aachen participated at WSC 17; came 6th at WSC 19; came 3rd at iESC 18; and came 5th and 8th at iESC 20. Their usual team number (70) is the number they raced with in 2017.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

iESC  SCM  BE  Agoria Solar Team / KU Leuven 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (new car: BluePoint Atlas) – they have built a new car to defend their title. It is named after the Atlas Mountains.

Previously, Agoria came 6th at WSC 13; came 5th at WSC 15; came 3rd at WSC 17; won WSC 19; came 3rd at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at iESC 16; came 6th at iESC 18; came 1st and 6th at iESC 20; and won Carrera Solar Atacama 18. Their team number (8) is a long-standing tradition.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

iESC  IT  Onda Solare 

Four-seat cruiser (Emilia 4 LT) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) in 2018, and they have written up their design process here, but they have since made substantial improvements to the vehicle, including to the aerodynamics, suspension, battery, and solar panels. There is also an unusual open tail.

Previously, Onda came 10th at WSC 13; participated in the WSC 19 Cruiser class; won the ASC 18 Cruiser class; came 10th at Abu Dhabi 15; and came 6th at iESC 16. Their team number (9) is taken from the SS 9, the highway through Bologna, which was once the Roman Via Aemilia (hence also the name of their vehicle).

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

11  iESC  DE  Hochschule Bochum Solar Car Team 

Two-seat cruiser (thyssenkrupp SunRiser) – for the 2019 World Solar Challenge, Bochum improved their sexy 2-seater SunRiser, which came 3rd in 2015. They also have a solar buggy team. Their current plans appear to involve a hybrid solar-hydrogen vehicle. They will race two cars at older (11 and 42).

Previously, Bochum came 2nd in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 3rd in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; came 2nd in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 4th in the WSC 19 Cruiser class; came 3rd, 4th, and 5th at iESC 16; came 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; came 1st and 7th at Albi Eco 18; and came 1st and 2nd at Albi Eco 19.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: Anthony Dekker (click images to zoom)

21  iESC  SCM  NL  Solar Team Twente 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (new car: Red Horizon) – they have built a three-wheeler this year, and will race both at Zolder and in Morocco.

Previously, Twente came 3rd at WSC 13; came 2nd at WSC 15; came 5th at WSC 17; came 17th at WSC 19; won iESC 16; came 1st and 2nd at iESC 18; and came 2nd and 4th at iESC 20. Their team number (21) is a pun and a wish for success in the race (“Twente-One”).

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

23  iESC  GB  University of Nottingham Solar Racing Team 

Cruiser (new team) – their rather radical approach is to modify a Renault Twizy to have solar panels and improved electrics.


public domain photo

31  iESC  CH  Solar Energy Racers 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: SER-4) – they raced their SER-3 in South Africa and Australia. They still have their SER-2, and they are also building a new car.

Previously, SER came 5th at WSC 13; came 15th at WSC 19; came 2nd at ASC 16; came 11th at Abu Dhabi 15; came 3rd at SASOL 18; and came 8th at iESC 16.

 
Left: credit / Right: Anthony Dekker (click images to zoom – OLD PICS)

34  iESC  TR  Istanbul Technical University (ITU) 

Challenger (new car: Ariba X) – they discuss their plans here.

Previously, ITU came 17th at WSC 13; participated at WSC 17; came 7th at iESC 16; and came 7th at iESC 20.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom – OLD PICS)

40  iESC  NL  Solar Team Eindhoven 

Cruiser (new car) – after building four “solar family cars,” their focus for 2021 is a Self-sustaining House On Wheels. However, they are also racing two cars at Zolder (5 and 40).

Previously, Eindhoven won the WSC 13 Cruiser class; won the WSC 15 Cruiser class; won the WSC 17 Cruiser class; won the WSC 19 Cruiser class; came 7th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; and came 1st and 2nd in the iESC 20 Cruiser class. Their team number (40) is the Eindhoven telephone area code.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

45  iESC  PL  Lodz Solar Team 

Four-seat cruiser (Eagle Two) – this team has some nice (Polish) news coverage here. They are working on improving their car.

Previously, Lodz participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 19 Cruiser class; came 5th at SASOL 16; and won the iESC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (45) is a tradition since 2015.

 
Left: Anthony Dekker / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

51  SCM  SE  Chalmers Solar Team 

Three-wheel (tadpole) challenger (new car: Sköll) – they were the first Challenger-class team to reveal a render for their new car.

Previously, Chalmers came 21st at WSC 19 and participated at Swedish Solar Race 21.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

77  SCM  MA  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – they have worked hard to complete this car (see this video).

Previously, Mines Rabat participated at MSRC 19.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

81  iESC  TR  Solar Team Solaris (Dokuz Eylül University) 

Challenger (new car: S11) – they missed the last ESC, but hope to attend the next one with their new car.

Previously, Solaris participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class; came 25th at WSC 15; came 18th at WSC 19; came 9th at iESC 16; came 2nd at Albi Eco 18; and came 2nd at MSRC 19.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

88  iESC  PL  PUT Solar Dynamics (Poznań University of Technology) 

Two-seat cruiser (new team with car: Klara) – they have revealed their car, which weighs 750 kg and has an 18.5 kWh battery. This (Polish) video describes their project.

 
Left: credit / Right: credit (click images to zoom)

99  iESC  RO  TU Cluj-Napoca Solar Racing Team

Challenger (new team with car: SolisEV-1) – this is a brand-new team from Cluj-Napoca in Romania. They appear to have no online presence at all, and I have extremely grave doubts about their participation (although their institution does have a Formula Student team).


public domain photo

This page last updated 10:56 on 19 August 2021 AEST.