Solar Team Twente unveils secret weapon for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

Today, 12 October, we revealed our secret weapon with which we expect to win the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. With a self-conceived and developed system, the solar car Red One collects additional energy when the solar array is in shadow. This ultimately saves about thirty race minutes. The differences between the solar teams are expected to be very small this year; half an hour can make a big difference. The start of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will take place in six days time.


Elmar Peters_doorJoostvanBaars

Elmar Peters ©Joost van Baars

The day before the Red One solar car race undergoes the technical race inspection, we, students of the University of Twente and Saxion, announce a new system to bring the victory to Twente. The system is called SABINE, which stands for ‘Solar Array Balancing Interface Not Expected’. SABINE ensures that the solar array is better at dealing with shadows and curvatur of the solar array. Creator Elmar Peters talks about SABINE: “The solar team really craves to be the best. This ensures that you get the most out of yourself and is the perfect setting to come up with innovative ideas like SABINE.”

The idea behind SABINE

During the race, the teams drive on energy from the sun. The solar cells used by participants during the race are divided into groups. If one cell in such a group does not perform as well, then up until now the rest of the cells in the group performed just as poorly. Peters explains: “SABINE ensures that the energy is balanced and is not diminished. This means that when there is shadow the team has 10% to 20% more solar power than previously.” We expect to save a total of 30 race minutes with this invention. This is a great advantage in the race where every minute counts. In 2011, we came fifth, just 15 minutes behind the fourth. This year, we expect that the differences between the teams will be much smaller and that half an hour can make a lot of difference.

SABINE ©Gijs Versteeg

SABINE ©Gijs Versteeg

Application by industry

With solar arrays found on the roofs of consumers, there are also differences between solar cells. This is often not caused by the curvature of the solar array, but by dirt, ageing, defects in single cells and sometimes shadow. SABINE could also be used here. Team leader Irene van den Hof says that several companies have already expressed interest in SABINE.

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

On 18 October 2015, we will be present at the start of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the prestigious race for cars that run on solar energy. Along with over fifty other international participants, we will drive our solar car 3000 kilometres across the Australian outback. The race has four different classes. We are participating in the Challenger Class, the Formula 1 class for solar cars. With our asymmetrical design and SABINE, we are very confident of coming first in Australia.

Translated by ManpowerGroup Solutions-Language Services

Note to press: for more information, please contact Justine Wolters from Solar Team Twente. Tel. +31 613 976 550 or mail