Pushing limits together with Solar Team Twente

For the fifth time, Aeronamic has partnered up with Solar Team Twente who will join the Solar Challenge Morocco by the end of October. It’s an interesting project for which we strive to make a significant contribution. You might ask yourself, what does Aeronamic as an aerospace company have to do with solar car racing? Well, more than you might expect. Our worlds overlap on subjects like innovation and sustainability, because we both believe in contributing to a cleaner world. We talked to Remco Hoen from Solar Team Twente to discuss this subject in depth.

Solar Team Twente is a collaboration between eighteen students who are trying to build the world’s most efficient solar car. The team’s composition changes every other year and, in a very short time, they have to develop a new solar car from scratch. “But we can’t do this alone,” says Remco Hoen, student Biomedical Technology and account manager at Solar Team Twente. “We have an extensive network of innovative partners who help us achieve our goals. Since 2011, Aeronamic has been one of our bigger partners. And just like Aeronamic, we embody the passion for innovation and efficient mobility. It’s a perfect match!” Jolanda van der Kammen, PR & Communications Officer at Aeronamic, explains why. “Our CEO at that time was interested in the innovative and sustainable character of the solar team. In our industry, sustainability was also becoming a hot topic. And even more nowadays, as you probably already know. We believe it’s important to support initiatives for innovation and sustainability in our region.”

Fruitful partnership

Remco continues: “For every edition of the Solar Challenge, we want to get the most out of our partnerships. Sharing knowledge and offering advice to each other have always been important in our partnership with Aeronamic. Besides, they helped us create some unique components for our cars for previous editions. We usually visit our partners in person, although that hasn’t been possible with the covid pandemic. But it’s definitely going to happen in the near future.” Jolanda agrees that meetings will be planned for the end of the year. “Inviting students to visit Aeronamic is good for both parties. Students are curious about a potential future workplace, and as a high-tech company we are happy to show what we could offer young technical talent in our region. I’m impressed by the students’ capability and the way that they run the solar team as if it were a real company.”

Totally different solar race

Now it is time to head over to Morocco. Normally, the solar team attends the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia, just like dozens of other student teams from all over the world, but unfortunately this event had to be cancelled. Solar Challenge Morocco is an alternative, set up by different European solar teams. “By May, we knew this race was really going to take place,” says Remco. “We had to completely redesign our solar car in a very short time. The 3000-kilometer race in Australia – in extreme heat and rapidly changing weather conditions – is always a challenge, but we’ve done it many times before and know what to expect. Morocco is totally different. The country has many hills and bends in its roads. Climbing about 1800 meters a day is very demanding for an electric motor.” After various simulations and test days, Solar Team Twente is ready to start. According to Remco: “In the race from 25-29 October, we are definitely going for the win. In the last five editions of the Solar Challenge, we always managed to finish in the top five. Our close rivals will be taking part as well, so we’ll have some fierce competition. Let’s go!” 

At Aeronamic, we wish Solar Team Twente all the best in Morocco and hope we can make many more green kilometers together. Are you curious about their performance in the Solar Challenge? Visit the Solar Team Twente website and show them your support! 

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