Talk about an energy-efficient road trip
The World Solar Challenge was introduced in 1987 with the goal to stimulate research into the development of sustainable road transport. Since then, many different teams have participated in the challenge and come up with efficient alternatives to sustainable vehicle engines. One of the teams from TU Eindhoven, the Solar Team has been a part of this challenge for years and has built a number of different solar-powered and energy-efficient vehicles. This year, the students are back with another design, the Stella Vita camper which will embark on a 3000-kilometer road trip through Europe in late September.
The Stella Vita camper, built by a 22-student team is one of a kind of a solar house on wheels and has a 94 square feet solar array on its roof that harvests energy for the 60 kWh Li-ion battery bank while it goes up t speeds of 120km/h on the road. The same solar array can double in size at camp thanks to the additional fold-out panels. The vehicle is designed with a pop-up roof so the driver and passenger can easily stand and move around inside and even cook in the kitchen built inside the car. All these facilities are powered by the solar panel alone so there is no need for an electrical charging system.
The inside of the Stella Vita provides a full compact kitchen block along with a bench seating and integrated storage, a small dining table, shelves and cabinets with a sleeping area. There is also a TV and coffee-making machine included in the facilities. But if you need to use the toilet, you’ll have to go to a public one as it doesn’t include a built-in toilet (you can only fit so much in a car)
To test out the capabilities of the solar vehicle, team members are set to travel on a European Solar Tour starting from 19th September in the Netherlands with stopovers along different European states and coming to an end on 15th October in Spain.