Home Tech The Leuven Solar Team breaks the world record for the Belgian solar car

The Leuven Solar Team breaks the world record for the Belgian solar car

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The Agoria Solar Team beat the world record on Sunday in Lommel for “the greatest number of kilometers traveled with a solar car in 12 hours” with 1,051 kilometers. The previous world record was 924 kilometers, held by the Dutch solar team in Delft. At an hour and a half from the end, the student team from Leuven has already managed to break the previous record, to finally set the world record much clearer.

The attempt by the KU Leuven student team started on Sunday morning at 7.31 a.m. on the closed Ford test track in Lommel. The engineering students had until 7:30 p.m. to travel as many kilometers as possible with their solar car, using only solar energy. This is the first time the student team has attempted the world record.

After 305 kilometers, the Leuven students were on the right track according to their strategy, but more clouds rose. At 5 hours and 45 minutes from the finish, the solar car had already covered 549 kilometres. After 700 kilometers a puncture followed, which was repaired by a mobile team in the pits, after which the team decided to accelerate slightly to 95 km/h. The new world record was set an hour and a half before the end. After 12 hours, the solar car had traveled no less than 1,051 kilometers, much better than the previous record.

“We covered 127 kilometers more than the previous record set in 2020. Of course, we are very proud of that,” replies Tine Wildiers, 21, the Solar Team strategist.
With the same car, the BluePoint Atlas, the students from Leuven took part in a 2,500 kilometer race through Morocco in October 2021. The student team then finished second. Subsequently, they chose to continue working on the existing car, instead of designing an entirely new one. In addition to the innovations that have been added, additional efforts have been made on the reliability of the car.

Improvements to the solar car, as well as Sunday’s weather, paid off. Apart from a puncture, the car did not experience any technical problems. The solar car is therefore fully ready for the next international racing challenge, the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa, according to the Leuven student team.

“The solar car behaved very well. We tested everything thoroughly in advance and we are sure that the car is reliable for the next race,” says Zander Radelet, 23, aerodynamic engineer for the Solar Team.

The Sasol Solar Challenge will take place from September 9 to 16 in South Africa. Teams of students from all over the world are challenged to cover as much distance as possible using solar energy in 8 days. This is the first time that the Belgian Solar Team takes part in the international competition. It is also the longest race the Belgian team will participate in so far.

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