New challenges for JU Solar Team – in South Africa

JU Solar Team.

Here are the JU Solar Team´s Marketing, External Relations & Logistics team (from left): Erika Willumsen, Sandra Sernelin Ahlsén and Sofia Östangård. Photo: Benjamin Fodor

The Corona pandemic put an end to this autumn's Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) in Australia. Jönköping University Solar Team then switched continent and competition to the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa in autumn 2022.

JU Solar Team.

This car that JU Solar Team competed with in Australia 2019 will also be used in South Africa in 2022, but in a rebuilt form. Photo: Martin Hérma

The solar car project runs as a course at the School of Engineering (JTH) at Jönköping University (JU). The purpose of the project is to create tomorrow's engineers and marketers, but also to increase the interest among young people to apply for higher education. Additionally, a large part of the project is to facilitate an opportunity to develop and show the use of renewable energy.

Ju Solar Team is now optimizing the solar car used in the BWSC in Australia two years ago for the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa.

“The solar car project at Jönköping University inspires and motivates young people to apply for technical programmes, so it is important that it continues even if it is in another competition," says Sandra Sernelin Ahlsén, who is a student and Marketing Manager for JU Solar Team. She and her colleagues in the solar car project hope that the rebuilt solar car will be ready this autumn. After that, several of them will go on to support the next edition of the JU Solar Team in their construction of the solar car for BWSC 2023.

"We are very happy to get a second chance"

Students Johan Josefsson, Team Manager for JU Solar Team, and Alvin Södergren, who optimises the aerodynamics and functionality of the sun car body, were disappointed when BWSC was cancelled, but fully understand the decision. They think the Sasol Solar Challenge serves as a good substitute for BWSC.

“We are very happy to get a second chance like this and it will be super exciting to take part in a competition we have never participated in before," says Alvin Södergren.

The change of competition means several challenges for JU Solar Team, such as converting the solar car to work in an environment from which they have no data. In addition, in the Sasol Solar Challenge, you have to travel as far as possible on a 5,000-kilometre stretch, instead of driving from start to finish as in the BWSC.

“Always fun to break new ground," says Johan Josefsson.

Student Isac Sélea, head of electronics in JU's solar car, points out that the mileage in the Sasol Solar Challenge is almost twice as far as in the BWSC.

“No one has made the whole distance as far as I know, but many have been close," he says.
The electrical team will use the extra time that JU Solar Team has before the Sasol Solar Challenge to improve the solar car's electrical system and hone in on new strategies.

JU Solar Team.

JU Solar Teams Electrical team consists of (from left): Josef Vernersson, Petter Ydrestrand, Isac Sélea and Benjamin Fodor.

JU Solar Team.

JU Solar Teams Chassis team consists of (from left): Eric Pettersson, Jonatan Magnusson, Johan Josefsson, Erik Fagerberg and Rasmus Brask-Nilsen. Photo: Benjamin Fodor

JU Solar Team

JU Solar Teams Aerodynamics & Design team consists of (from left): Rasmus Wickström, Oskar Ogarp and Alvin Södergren. Photo: Benjamin Fodor.

Read more about JU Solar Team here.
Read more about Sasol Solar Challenge here.
Read more about Bridgestone World Solar Challenge here.