A team of engineering students from Belgium and reigning world champions, Innoptus strive to build the most innovative and efficient solar cars possible.
We Are the Champions
The Innoptus Solar Team was founded 17 years ago by 15 passionate KU Leuven engineering students eager to do more with their engineering degrees with a single goal in mind – to build race-winning solar cars.
They've now designed, built, and raced 9 vehicles to date, and are the reigning champions of Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) after their 1st place victory in 2019.
In 2021, the team took their latest car, the BluePoint Atlas, to the Solar Challenge Morocco, and in 2022, to South Africa for the Atlas' second international solar challenge, SASOL. Maintaining their strong reputation with x2 second-place finishes, Innoptus are now building the tenth Belgian solar car, which they’ll take to BWSC in Australia this year, hoping to walk away with another gold trophy.
JANUARY 12, 2023
Agoria No More
The student team announced their new main sponsor, Innoptus, marking the end of an era as Agoria Solar Team. As ‘Agoria’, the engineering students were able to achieve some stellar feats. In addition to being world champions, they also became European champions twice with two iLumen Solar Challenge wins and were even able to break a world record. But, with this new name and direction, the team hopes to achieve even more with renewed focus and vigor.
STR-22G Case Study
Competing in solar races doesn’t just mean designing a great solar car, it also requires strategy and knowledge about weather conditions. Since the EMPOWER programme started, EKO has helped out Innoptus by providing cutting-edge weather sensors that precisely measure variables like irradiance, temperature, density and wind while they're driving. For each of these factors, the team can combine real-time measurements with weather forecasts, and for the irradiation in particular, the team made great use of the rapid measurements from EKO pyranometers like the MS-80S.
Most recently, the team has worked with the STR-22G Sun Tracker, which they used to conduct a case study showing how to better predict weather patterns in regions they race in.
Better Data = Better Predictions
The team installed a small solar panel onto the STR-22G, and thanks to its tracking technology, the solar panel stays perfectly angled toward the sun since the tracker precisely follows the sun during the day based on its GPS location, corrected with an integrated irradiance sensor. This allowed the team to gather data 365 days/year without the need for a solar car or the permanent presence of one or more team members.
When these measurements are combined with those from an EKO MS-80S Pyranometer, the team could then normalize the measurements to the Belgian weather status and scale up the data set to different locations and weather circumstances around the world, depending on the location of the next challenge. Using this methodology Innoptus were able to predict the incoming energy during a challenge much more accurately, giving them a significant strategic advantage.
The Road to BWSC
Every two years, the team has committed to creating a new vehicle to compete in solar challenges around the world, with BWSC at the top of the list. With the renowned race finally on track for October 2023, the team is hard at work on what will no doubt be their most refined effort at a new 1st place car.
EKO is proud to sponsor this champion team and looks forward to seeing them attempt to defend their title later this year.
Visit the Innoptus Solar Team Website to learn more.
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