Traversing 3,000 kilometers from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia without one single drop of fuel, is that possible? Teams from over 30 countries accepted the challenge during Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Among the participants were a team of students from RWTH and FH Aachen.
The World Solar Challenge in the Australian outback is considered to be the world’s toughest race for solar cars. Over seven days, the vehicles participating in the competition must to drive over 3,000 kilometers across the Australian outback; the vehicles have to be exclusively powered by the sun. Students from the faculties of lightweight construction, photovoltaics, and driving strategy at the RWTH and FH Aachen took part in the Challenger Class with their solar-powered car.
The vehicles participating in the World Solar Challenge must withstand extreme conditions such as dryness, heat, direct sunlight, and strong vibrations when driving off-road. To ensure low weight and optimum aerodynamics, the car that the students from RWTH and FH Aachen developed was designed in a catamaran-like shape. The students glued the vehicle's plastic parts to the carbon fiber frame by hand, using a specific two-component polyurethane adhesive.
Some of the main advantages of the adhesive used by the students include:
It reduces friction between the glued objects
It’s strong and reliable when exposed to both static and dynamic pressure
It dries quickly in room temperature
The Aachen team’s construction is not only extremely solid, but it also comes with another competitive advantage, too—it’s lightweight. Weighing less than 200 kilos, the sun-powered vehicle can reach a speed of up to 80 km/h.
In the World Solar Challenge, the students’ car drove at an average speed of 71.8 km/h. This was enough to secure sixth place in the competition. The gold medal went to the Agoria Solar Team from Belgium whose car had an average speed of astonishing 86.6 km/h.
Consent to the use of data for advertising purposes
I consent to the use of my email address to send editorial newsletters by Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, Rotebühlstr. 83-85, 70178 Stuttgart, Germany including all of its affiliates within the meaning of Section 15 et seq. AktG (‘Mesago’). I have viewed lists of each group of affiliates here for the Mesago. The content of the newsletter covers the products and services of all of the companies listed above including, for example, trade magazines and specialist books, events and exhibitions and event-related products and services, printed and digital media products and services such as additional (editorial) newsletters, competitions, lead campaigns, online and offline market research, technical web portals and e-learning courses. If my personal telephone number has also been collected, it may be used to send offers for the aforementioned products and services from the above companies, as well as for market research purposes. If I wish to access protected content online on portals of Mesago including its affiliates within the meaning of Section 15 et seq. AktG, I must register with additional data in order to access that content. In return for this free access to editorial content, my data may be used in line with this declaration of consent for the purposes described herein.
Right to withdraw consent