Solar car from Lodz University of Technology winner of 24-hour race
The Lodz Solar Team from the Technical University of Lodz won the international iLumen European Solar Challenge solar electric vehicle race. The competition took place at Circuit Zolder from September 21-23 in Belgium. Despite the constant rain and slippery pavement, the Polish car proved to be reliable and was far ahead of the competition in the overall standings. The team raced against more than 20 teams from around the world.
The iLumen European Solar Challenge is the largest international race of vehicleóIn solar-powered electric. It is held at the Formula 1 circuit – Circuit Zolder in Belgium. This year saw its 5th. edition. Participants in the competition include teams from around the world. This year’s edition was attended by 22 teams from róof the world’sóin the world m.In. from Australia, India and Colombia. The competition is being held in twoóch categories – Challenger and Cruiser. Challenger are single-seat racing cars, while Cruiser are city vehicles, whichóre must have seats for a minimum of twoóch osób.
The Lodz Solar Team with its Eagle Two competed in the Cruiser class, it was their debut performance in this type of competition. Their vehicle has room for 5 osób, while for the duration of the race the strategy was set to take 4 people. The vehicle is equipped with 5 m2 of photovoltaic panels, a 14.5 kWh battery and 2 BLDC motors of 5kW each. The structure of the car is mostly made of włókna, and its total weight is only 380 kg,” reported a spokeswoman for the Technical University of Lódzka Ewa Chojnacka in the message sent.
The race was preceded by technical tests of the vehicleów, m.in. Checking documentation, batteries and charging, visibility and lights. Before heading to the track, the teams also had to pass a braking and turning radius test. Lodz Solar Team passed it flawlessly!
The most significant element of the competitionóIn the Cruiser class, the goal was to complete as many laps as possible with as many osób on board the car. ŁóThe students managed to run as many as 193 laps in a full team. According to the rules, points were added for additional categories. The first of these was the chicane test, któThe competitors had to complete the race in the fastest possible timeót the fastest time. Another test checked the róThe car’s uniform pace based on timeów of 8 laps. In addition, the competitors had to present the innovative technical solutions introduced in the project.
TeamóThe competitors had to overcome the route as quickly as possibleódzka prepared two applications using augmented reality technology. The first one with the help of special glassesóin HoloLens allows the user to view a computer-designed model of the Eagle Two car in real size, placed in the surrounding reality. Another application allows the display of parametersóin the vehicle in real time. Thanks to the use of an ocularów HoloLens is a great solution for the strategist whoóry could move freely or perform other activities while analyzing the data. In addition, the Lodz Solar Team designed a system for transferring data from the car to the cloud. This makes them available on any device anywhere in the world. A special interface for visualization of computer-analyzed data facilitates a quick readout.
An important element counted for ogólnej scoring was a safety test, whichóry verified the preparation and organization of the team. ŁóThe wild team proved for the second time that it is unbeatable in this respect – In 2015 in Australia, it won the Safety Award, while during this year’s raceów obtained the most pointsóin the mód of all teams.
Already the first minutes after the start proved that this was not going to be an easy race. The weather conditions did not favor the competitors. Heavy rain and the track’s slippery asphalt meant that on the first lap several teamsów ended up off the track. The organizer quickly recommended changing the tires to ones suitable for wet conditions. With each passing hour, driver fatigue increasedów and passengerów. The crew did not avoid uncontrolled slipsów on the chicane. Driving at night brought even more excitement. Water collecting on the windshield reflected the lights of the lanterns and significantly reduced the visibility of the. Drivers and pilots remained in full concentration, often recognizing corners only by the sidelines of the track. During the 24 hours, the caród was loaded only twice, while the crew in the car was changed every 2 hours. Due toóin safety, the driver and passengers had to be equipped with fireproof suits and helmets.
The race proved to be a real test of endurance for all carsów. Numerous turns, tight chicanes and, above all, incessant rain and 22 cars on the course at the same time were a huge challenge for the drivers toów and the technical crew. Caród Eagle Two constructed by the studentóin the FL was the only one thatóry did not use the assistance of a tow truck even once. Almost all other teams suffered failures, including multiple world champions in this category – Solar Team Eindhoven.
In the end, the Polish representation, the Lodz Solar Team, won the iLumen European Solar Challenge race with a score of 68 pointsów, overtaking another teamół in the classification by as much as 17 pointsów.
Lodz Solar Team is a student projectóIn the Technical University of LóThe team from the St. Anne’s Cathedral, operating as part of the SKN Enthusiastóin Automotive of the Institute of Flow Machinery of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, whichóers have been working for 4 years on the construction of vehicleów solar-powered. In 2015 the compositeół has unveiled the first Polish car of its kindód – Eagle One, whichóry made its debut at the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia, achieving the best place among theód rookieów and receiving the Safety Award for safest vehicle design. Already a year póThe students then set off on an expedition through South Africa, where they launched the Cruiser class (a vehicleóin urban areas), setting 3 records for consecutive editions, and receiving the Communication Award for the best media coverage of the race. In 2017, the compositeół competed again in the Australian competition, beating more than twice swój record from 2 years ago, as well as winning 5th place in the practicality test.