WUT Solar Boat is a construction which brought together two Universities – the Warsaw University of Technology and the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). The students from the first one are responsible for the construction and technical side of the project whilst the students of SGH are in charge of the organisational issues, finances, marketing and findng sponsors.
Everyone is doing what they feel strongly about, say the creators of the boat. Why is there only WUT’s name and logo on it then? The majority of team is comprised of students from WUT and it is them who designed and built it. The decision about the name was obvious for everyone, they explain.
The boat we have constructed is very fast. It can go up to 26km/h which is a lot for a vehicle powered only by the sun– Andrzej Gut from the Constructor Scientific Circle of WUT. To build the boat students used materials produced by the main partner of the enterprise – the AZOTY Group.
WUT Solar Boat is six metres long, over two and a half metres wide and weighs only about 20kg. It is powered by the solar panels made of thousands of solar photovoltaics. Sun shines on the photovoltaics and causes the emission of electrons which produce electricity. Part of that electricity goes into the battery where it is stored. The other part goes into the electric engine which turns the propeller. – Each of us had bigger or smaller challenges in this project. However, if you asked us about the biggest issue we had to deal with, it would be the hydrodynamics and reducing the resistance – explain students involved in the project.- We used an innovative steering system and elastic solar photovoltaics. We are very proud of our boat.
It took over one year to build the Solar Boat. After initial tests, members of the team were very positive and could not wait for the competition they hoped to win. Unfortunately, a few days before the trip to Monaco, there was an accident on the way to Zalew Zegrzyński where the boat was supposed to go through the final tests and the boat burnt down. The reasons why remain unknown. The construction team did not give up, though, and few hours after the accident began work on a replacement boat. All the electronic components were placed under the boat so they did not get damaged and were ready to be used. The team had a spare body but the rest had to be built again and made of the remaining elements which were left in the workshop where the original boat had been constructed.
The new boat was reconstructed in just three days!
On the first day of the Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup- 9th July 2015, our boat went smoothly through all the check-ups and inspections ( of the electric installation, construction and stability) which meant it complied with the requirements and we were allowed to take part in the competition – says Andrzej Gut, student of WUT and the Head of the WUT Solar Boat project.
It wasn’t the first attempt to take part in the Solar1 Monte-Carlo Cup, but in the past it was too expensive for the students to succeed. – WUT Solar Boat is not a cheap enterprise but this year we got extra EU funding from the “Generation of the Future” project by the Polish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the students underline. Apart from that, students got help from the AZOTY Group – the main partner of this enterprise. Thanks to cooperation with various institutions and companies involved in this business, students will be able to continue works on this project and build a new boat which could take them to victory next year.
“Generation of the Future” is not looking back.
Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup are the first championships for solar boats which are organised on the open sea. This year between 9th and 11th of July we witnessed the second edition of this event which brought together teams from all over the World. They competed in three classes: A class, Open class and V20. The Polish team took part in slalom, fleet and one-to-one sprint categories.
Solar1 races was created to promote the use of solar power in our everyday lives, which I strongly believe in. I see it as a great opportunity to animate and excite a new generation, whilst also focusing their attention on important issues such as renewable energy. I would like our future to be; clean, economical and sustainable. Solar1 moves us all towards a greener, brighter future!
The Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup 2014 was the first of its kind to unite businesses and pioneers driving the future of energy. Today, the flourishing solar power industry has an equally powerful event, capable of showcasing its remarkable development. Tomorrow, we will bring the same energy and innovation to other major yachting centers world-wide.– says Sergei Dobroserdov, CEO and driving force of Solar1.
During the three-day competition, WUT Solar Boat team raced with teams from Holland, Germany and USA. Even though our team didn’t stand on the podium, they showed an incredible, undeterred spirit and proved that one should never give up, even in the most difficult and hopeless situations. The participants of the competition emphasize that the experience in itself is valuable whether you win or lose the race.
– Regardless all the obstacles in our way, we didn’t give up even for a second. Each problem that arose was a challenge motivating us to work harder. In those few days before going to Monaco, our start in the races seemed impossible because we couldn’t really imagine that rebuilding the boat would happen in just three days. We gained valuable experience which we plan to use in future projects. – says Andrzej Gut.