Flanders Make supports Belgian solar team to win the ‘2023 World solar challenge’

Flanders Make supports Belgian solar team to win the ‘2023 World solar challenge’

The World solar challenge is one of the world’s most challenging races for solar powered vehicles. Participants face over 3000km through the Australian outback, from Darwin to Adelaide. The roads here are though, the temperatures are extreme, and the wind is a force to recognize. All teams join this epic challenge with one simple goal in mind: To finish first. At its core, the challenge is a design competition, where the best solar car design will win the race. 38 teams competed for the 2023 trophy.

The world’s greatest innovation and engineering challenge contributing to a more sustainable mobility future.

The long distance and extreme weather conditions of the race challenge the participants. These conditions have a huge impact on the solar cars and the teams need to take this into account when designing the vehicle. To outperform the competition, the teams incorporate every year the newest technologies in terms of more efficient solar cells, new battery cells, improved cooling techniques, etc. The ultimate goal is that, in the long run, these improved technologies will break through the mainstream market, where they can contribute to a more sustainable future.

Innoptus solar car

Flanders Make and Innoptus Solar Team

The Belgian Innoptus Solar Team contacted us in December 2022. They needed our support and expertise on batteries and wanted to do some tests on our in-house testing equipment. A summary of what we did:

  • Firstly, we proposed a model-based validation approach to design the battery pack of the vehicle. The solar team followed our proposal and used our battery models to design the battery pack thermal designs.
  • Secondly, we validated these designs on our in-house battery testing equipment. At our Lommel site, we could validate the solar car performance under “Australian” solar and temperature conditions.
  • Finally, we developed a model-based estimation method to determine the heat capacity of  Li-ion Polymer battery cells. They used our estimation to predict the battery temperature during the race, assuring optimal performance and a safe and failure free race.

Victory for Innoptus Solar Team!

The battery pack, and energy management in general, is an important part of a solar powered car. The thorough preparation and proper cooperation between the Innoptus Solar Team and Flanders Make contributed to their victory. The Innoptus Solar Team finished in Adelaide on 26 October 2023 with an amazing average speed of 88.2km/h on a total distance of 3022km.


Innoptus finish

More information?

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Kristof Vrancken, Communication Officer

Kristof Vrancken is Digital Communication Officer at Flanders Make since 2019. As Digital Marketeer with experience in both B2B and B2C environments he writes with a fresh view on technological innovation, about what literally and figuratively moves within our research centre.