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Solar Team Twente win the Solar Challenge Morocco!

A huge congratulations to the brilliant team at Solar Team Twente for winning the first ever Solar Challenge Morocco!

19 November 2021

A huge congratulations to the brilliant team at Solar Team Twente for winning the first ever Solar Challenge Morocco!

Solar Challenge Morocco is the ultimate challenge for solar cars, with teams asked to race their fully solar-powered vehicles against each other in a 2,500-km rally race in unforgiving conditions on the edge of the Sahara Desert. After 5 grueling days of competition, RED Horizon finished top of the leaderboard to crown Solar Team Twente as the competition’s first-ever champions!

Utilizing cutting-edge technology and materials, including Toray’s 8020 composite prepreg, they created an incredibly innovative solar car capable of seeing off stiff competition from other university teams from across the globe. Our composite materials were used throughout the vehicle, allowing the car to be as lightweight as possible while maintaining shape and durability. Having lightweight materials was vital to the success of the car because it allowed the vehicle to be optimized for speed, distance, and efficiency.

Solar Challenge Morocco is a new competition introduced to help promote innovation within the solar-powered vehicle market. It’s hoped that the techniques and technologies used to get these vehicles to track will help the production of solar-powered cars for years to come. With an ever-increasing focus on how the world can reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and meet net-zero targets, these innovations have never been more needed.

image shows Solar Team Twente

RED Horizon features a range of bold designs in order to make the car faster and more efficient. One of the major design changes from previous cars developed by the team was to make the vehicle three-wheeled, with an arrow-shaped body. These design changes led to the vehicle being more aerodynamic, faster, and energy efficient.

This new design features powerful solar panels on the top of a flat body that allows the vehicle to harness the power of the Saharan sun to keep the car running. Using these panels, the vehicle can quickly charge up to full power while in a static state, and also absorb solar power for use while in motion. 

This debut race in Morocco was designed to push solar vehicles to the limit. Racing teams had to contend with the rough roads, deserts, mountains, and extreme weather conditions of the West African country. This meant they had to design a car that was not only fast, but durable and able to perform on a range of terrains.

Solar Team Twente are made up of students from the University of Twente, based in Enschede in the Netherlands. Originally designed for the World Challenge Australia, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RED Horizon was repurposed to meet the demands of the Moroccan conditions.

image shows RED Horizon Solar Car

Toray are incredibly honored to see our 8020 composite prepreg implemented into this car. Due to the handleability and the ability to cure at low temperatures, this material was perfect for Solar Team Twente’s needs to create a lightweight but durable vehicle. We were delighted to have our material featured in such an innovative and forward-thinking design, with our logo proudly displayed on the side of this competition-winning vehicle.

Team Twente started the first day of the race in 4th place after qualification, with the first leg of the race challenging them to travel from the city of Agadir on the west coast of the country to the city of Zagora. This challenging day tested the car’s ability to handle mountains, with a maximum elevation of 1,850 meters. The car stood up to the test and ended the day in 2nd place behind Agora Solar Team from Belgium.

Over the next 2 days, Solar Team Twente battled through tough desert conditions including mountains, dunes, and extreme heat to take first place overall in the race. The team managed to hold out this lead over the last 2 days to be crowned the Solar Challenge Morocco winners!

This victory is the result of countless hours of dedication and hard work from the Twente team. After managing the disappointment of seeing the World Challenge Australia cancelled, they worked tirelessly to ensure that RED Horizon would be ready for Morocco.

Toray would like to extend a huge congratulations to the whole team on such an incredible achievement.

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