At the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, one has experience with solar cars – with a now presented four-seater with five square meters of solar cells on the body, it is already the seventh model presented by the university. Together with cooperation partner Thyssenkrupp, 60 students want to compete at the World Solar Challenge in Australia – the world championship for solar vehicles.
The five square meters of solar cells on the body of the four-seater are as if painted. ” The cells are laminated, which makes them very flexible and ideally follow the contour of the car,” said project spokesman Stefan Spychalski. This also helps to save weight.
The car, which is named after the name Blue Cruiser, is, strictly speaking, an electric solar hybrid – it can fill the 3,000-kilometer stretch from Darwin through the Australian mainland to Adelaide. The weight is necessary in order to obtain a road permit. The Blue Cruiser therefore starts in a class in which hybrid cars compete. In the race car starter class, in which the cars are only allowed to go back on the grid, this year a team from Aachen starts.
The car seats of the Blue Cruiser are made of Piñatex, a leather substitute of pineapple leaves. Bochum students have committed themselves to sustainability with their project. ” If we are currently talking about sustainable cars, it is usually only about consumption. In some cases, the production of cars or recycling is highly problematic, such as the currently very popular building material carbon fiber, ” explains Spychalski. The Bochum team uses as many sustainable materials as possible.
The Blue Cruiser is primarily a future project. The team from Bochum yearly year strives for a road approval, but as a serial production we will not see the cruiser so quickly yet. “In reality, a solar cell on a car can only deliver a very small energy contribution, while consumption can not be minimized at will,” says Spychalski. The future therefore belongs to electric cars with solar support.
The students from Bochum want to build on the past with the Solar Cruiser. In 2012, the Solarworld GT set with 29,753 kilometers without recharging the record for the longest solarautark driven mileage.