SOLAR CAR RACE: CONNECTIVITY IN THE DESERT
Teltonika Networks has collected numerous success cases over the years, yet we are always glad to see someone contribute to future innovation with the help of our products. That’s precisely what a team of students from Germany did. Today we share the story of Team Sonnenwagen Aachen and their solar-powered car.
The Solar Challenge Morocco is a long-distance efficiency race stretching over 2500km at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and through the outskirts of the Sahara Desert. In five stages from Agadir, through Zagora, Merzouga, Ouarzazate and back to Agadir, seven best in the world European solar team competed to cover the distance using only the energy of the sun.
The team had entered Solar Challenge Morocco 2021 with their latest solar car model. They had supporting vehicles always following the race car, which had to provide the driver with important information about weather changes and other mission-critical data. Moreover, there was a need to constantly monitor connection status, temperature and any possible malfunctions for the race car and its supporting systems.
The connectivity solution
This year the team entered the race with their third, and latest solar-powered car model built in 2021. It is a three-wheeled catamaran that weighs only 180kg and can reach top speeds of up to 120km/h. For the solar array, 4m2 silicium solar cells were used. The Covestro Photon was perfectly able to drive on the steep Moroccan mountain roads and the Sahara Desert. During the Solar Challenge Morocco, the team faced over 12 000 meters of elevation gain. The windy roads also asked a lot from their motor.
This time, the Sonnenwagen team wanted to use every possible advantage. So, they opted to use Teltonika Networks RUT955 industrial cellular router and COMBO MIMO Mobile/GNSS/Wi-Fi Roof SMA antenna to provide stable internet connectivity for the Strategy Car. The supporting team members collected weather forecasts to better plan their route and strategy. Furthermore, this setup allowed to gather all diagnostics from the race car itself. You can find more details about Sonnenwagen IoT solution by clicking on the use case link or visiting their YouTube channel.
Thanks to their IoT solution, the Sonnenwagen team, with their electric car Covestro photon, took 5th place, despite their hardships during the race. The Covestro Photon and its entourage of support vehicles managed to survive the five-day marathon powered purely by the sun and thus have shown how solar power is increasingly viable to power the future of transportation.
Sonnenwagen team is already recruiting new members for the next project and race coming their way! We at Teltonika Networks fully support their cause to innovate in solar-powered transportation and hope to provide connectivity solutions for this fantastic team in the near future. We are glad to see that Teltonika Networks products are finding their place in various races as a reliable connectivity solution. Be sure to check out our other stories where we collaborate with racing teams and maybe even find the right IoT solution for your own project!