The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) presented its new solar-powered car. Stella Lux is an intelligent, solar-powered family car that generates more power than it uses. The car has a range of at least 1,000 km in the Netherlands, with enough space for four people, and is fitted with a specially designed navigation system. The team will take part with the car in the Cruiser Class of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia on 18 October 2015.
The car that generates energy
Solar Team Eindhoven has set itself the goal of developing the car of the future. By combining the aerodynamic design with lightweight materials like carbon and aluminium, the Eindhoven student team has once again come up with a very energy-efficient design. Stella Lux can reach a range of 1,000 km on a sunny day in the Netherlands. On balance the car generates more energy than it uses, which makes it energy-positive. Excess energy can be returned to the power grip, helping to deal with societal problems relating to the use of energy.
This year the student team is once again taking part in the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The race for solar-powered cars covers a distance of 3,000 km, and goes right through the heart of the outback from Darwin to Adelaide. The Eindhoven team competes in the Cruiser Class for family cars. Here the emphasis is on building a practical, user-friendly solar‑powered car, rather than on pure speed. The team won the Cruiser Class title in 2013 with its first car, Stella. This year’s race places more emphasis on speed than in 2013, which is why they have decided to build a new and lighter car with fewer seats, while still going for a fully fledged family car.
“By deciding to further improve on our solar-powered four-person car, we’re once again aiming to win while at the same time proving that this energy-positive family car offers a viable future scenario”, says Solar Team Eindhoven’s Team Manager Tom Selten.
After the World Solar Challenge the adventure doesn’t stop for the students. After Australia there will be a tour through the Netherlands, China and maybe the USA in collaboration with the sponsors. “With Stella Lux we want to take the next step in bringing a solar car to the consumer. Therefore we want to show Lux to as many people as possible and we hope to inspire them,” says Tom Selten. We see a future where everybody drives a solar car, where all cars produce energy instead of consuming it.
Stella Lux, specifications:
|Number of seats||4|
|Autonomy, sunny day in the Netherlands (according to NEDC)||1000||(km)|
|Autonomy, sunny day in Australia (according to NEDC)||1100||(km)|
|Autonomy at night||about 650||(km)|
|Number of solar cells||381|
|Solar cell surface area||5,8||m2|
|Number of battery cells||1224|
Photos: TU Eindhoven, Bart van Overbeeke