Green Spirit – a European recipe for success
A cooperation could hardly be more European: A Swiss photovoltaic company is using its high-efficiency solar cells produced in Germany to support a Dutch student team that is taking part in an international race through the Moroccan desert with its specially developed solar race car. For months, the enthusiasts from Top Dutch Solar Racing in Groningen prepared to take part in this year's Solar Challenge Morocco. The cooperation with Meyer Burger was sealed this spring when it was determined that the state-of-the-art heterojunction cells combined with Meyer Burger's latest SmartWire technology would provide the best energy output for Top Dutch Solar Racing's solar car. In addition, extensive technical tests showed that the high-efficiency cells are extremely powerful even in very hot conditions - an advantage that should not be underestimated in a car race through the Sahara.
Green Spirit then started the five-day race over a distance of 2,500 kilometers in Agadir on October 25 in pole position. The international Solar Race, which leads through the desert as well as over the mountains of the Atlas range, focuses on solar power as a central element of renewable energies. Here, technical innovation in the field of photovoltaics is tested and further developed under extreme conditions in order to make solar cars suitable for everyday use. An important step in the energy transition. And of course a great challenge for everyone involved in the event. Because climate chances are fun, of course!
From the cell to the solar deck
Only the best for Green Spirit
Constantly improving the energy yield of our solar cells is a daily challenge at Meyer Burger. For the solar runabout from Top Dutch Solar Racing, however, the research and development team, together with the student tinkerers from the University of Groningen, did some special pioneering work. They experimented with the latest heterojunction technologies. The pilot line in Hohenstein-Ernstthal was specially adapted so that square solar cells could be produced. With this specific shape, even the last square centimeter on the car roof can be used to produce solar power for the drive. And in addition to maximum energy efficiency, the solar cells from Hohenstein-Ernstthal also impress with their brilliant midnight blue, which harmonizes perfectly with the bright green of the solar race car.
It’s a question of networking
When the special HJT cells were produced in the summer, they had to be connected to each other using SmartWire technology, which was specially developed and patented by Meyer Burger. Here, too, the technologists from Saxony and Switzerland tinkered with the best possible method. The special cells were wired right in the middle of ongoing operations in Freiberg module production on a line specially provided for this purpose. This resulted in dozens of special cell chains of varying lengths, which were then packed in metal boxes purchased specifically for this purpose in a most elaborate manner so that nothing would break. With this sensitive and valuable cargo, one of the Freiberg colleagues then set off by car from Saxony to the Netherlands - 800 kilometers to Leeuwarden.
The Journey to Groningen
There, in Leeuwarden, is the home of the innovative start-up Mito Solar, which processed the high-tech solar cells from Meyer Burger using special technology and exclusive manual work so that they could be applied to the Green Spirit solar car in the form of special modules. Jules von Haaren and Danny Bokma, the two engineers from Mito Solar, have had experience with solar vehicles since their school days. Back then, the two Dutchmen built solar boats. In the meantime, they have specialized in solar race cars with their company and offer special solutions from engineering to lamination, production to research and further development of new materials and technologies. From Leeuwarden, the finished solar modules were then sent to Groningen, where the Top Dutch Solar Team was urgently waiting to apply the latest technology to their race car, the Green Spirit.
However, first all the individual parts were transported by truck from the Netherlands to Morocco. In Agadir, Green Spirit was then assembled and technically optimized with the highest engineering skills in the four weeks before the start of the Solar Challenge in order to meet the challenges of the solar race through the Moroccan desert and mountains.
About TOP DUTCH Solar Racing
We are a unique multidisciplinary team of motivated students with different fields of expertise, ranging from engineering to communication.
Building on previous experiences and knowledge, our goal is to raise the bar on innovation and construct a new, highly efficient solar car. This all, while also creating an optimal learning environment for all members.
Together with our partners, we innovate solar technology and strive towards a sustainable future.
Team 2021 consists of 21 students, from secondary vocational education (MBO), higher professional education (HBO) and university education (WO). Every individual has a unique contribution that makes our project a success. Our team members follow over 10 different educational programs and either help with the technical, organizational or communicational tasks.
About Solar Challenge Morocco 2021
The Solar Challenge Morocco is a race for solar cars, build according to the regulations.
For the first time Classic Events challenged international universities to display their technical innovation and entrepreneurship in solar technique during the Solar Challenge in October 2021 in Morocco. The world’s leading technical universities will compete in a five day event to decide who has created the best and fastest total package regarding, sustainable energy, innovation and entrepreneurship to withstand the challenges of the Moroccan roads. The joint time of these five stage will decide who will be the winner of the Solar Challenge 2021.
5 days, 5 stages, 2500 km, 2 desert bivouacs. Only the best are up for this Challenge.
Current route of the Solar Challenge Morocco 2021
|Race Day 1
|Agadir - Zagora
|Race Day 2
|Zagora - Merzouga
Race Day 3
|Race Day 4
|Merzouga - Zagora
|Race Day 5
|Zagora - Agadir