Belgian Solar Team enlists for world’s most extreme Solar Challenge

The students of the Belgian Solar Team, who became world champion in October 2023, are preparing for the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa, which will start within eight months. This competition is considered the most extreme in the world.

The engineering students from KU Leuven will travel more than 4 000 kilometers over eight days from Johannesburg to Cape Town. In the meantime, they are further optimizing their champion car, the Infinite.

Bruising battle

The SASOL Solar Challenge is considered the most extreme in the world due to the significant height differences, exceptional weather conditions, and busy cities. On the other hand, it’s a bruising battle, taking eight days and covering 4 000 km between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

In October 2023, the KU Leuven students already proved that their champion car was the best solar car in the world. They became world champions in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. Now they will face even greater challenges.

Necessary adjustments

Due to the larger slopes and more frequent acceleration and deceleration, the motor and battery will be much more taxed. The mechanical systems are also being addressed to lose as little energy as possible during braking, mandatory stops, and pilot changes. The team will have to make the necessary adjustments to adapt the solar car to this challenging route.

The aim of the race is to cover as many kilometers as possible in the given time by riding extra loops on top of the mandatory distance. The team with the most distance covered wins the challenge.

Second place

However, it is not their first time participating in this challenge. In 2022, the team took part in the SASOL Solar Challenge for the first time. Although the students had a strong start, they still had to make way for the strong Delft team with years of experience in this competition. This time, the Belgians will do everything they can to win.

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