Supporting the mobility of tomorrow
MISUMI supports the “Punch Powertrain Solar Group” in building an innovative solar car for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2017.
The biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia is the world championship race for solar cars, which covers more than 3,000 kilometres through the Australian desert. The idea behind the event is to showcase the advancement of renewable energy and to promote alternatives to conventional vehicle engines. The 30th anniversary event will be held from 8 - 15 October 2017.
As MISUMI regularly supports young engineering talents, MISUMI decided to supply the “Punch Powertrain Solar Group” from KU Leuven University in Belgium with MISUMI components, thus supporting them in participating in the event.
About Punch Powertrain Solar Team
The 21-strong interdisciplinary Belgian team is building a solar car from scratch in 15 months. Apart from being successful in various races, the team also pursues social and environmental goals, including the objectives to generate interest among young people for science and technology and to attract public attention to renewable energy.
The past Leuven teams have been very successful at World Solar Challenge and have already won 1 bronze and 2 silver medals. The MISUMI team is crossing its fingers for the upcoming race in 2017!
Behind the scenes
Thierry Garritsen, Brand Manager at Punch Powertrain Solar Group provides us with an insight into the motorsport competition
What makes the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge so intriguing?
The race is completely different from other student races. The Australian outback is no traditional race course. Therefore, efficiency, and not speed, is important is important in the competition. It is all about using the available energy as efficient as possible in order to outcompete the other teams on the 3021km long track.
What have you gained from participating in Punch Powertrain Solar Team up to now?
Building a solar car with 21 engineering friends teaches you a lot about collaboration. A good communication between team members and partners is the key to success.
What are the special features of your car, and what functions do the supplied MISUMI components fulfil?
The entire car weighs only 165 kg, that is about the weight of 2 full-grown kangaroos. We use the same carbon fibre material as formula one teams to reduce weight. The MISUMI components keep crucial parts of the suspension in its place. Their delivery was remarkably fast too, enabling us to meet our set deadlines!
Which advice would you give to a young student who would like to join a Bridgestone World Solar Challenge?
Just do it! It is hard, but rewarding work. Building a solar car is a once in a lifetime adventure that teaches you to keep on going even if everything else seems to be working against you. For some, it will be refreshing to learn new things by doing them instead of reading about them in books. I highly recommend all young students to join a student project like ours.