More Innovations from the New Innovation Team of Solar Team Twente

The innovation team of Solar Team Twente is more than just a shadow team of the racing team that travels to Australia every two years. Team member Esmee Hulsman from the so-called Team 24 explains what the team does and why it was established.

The innovation team comprises seven students from the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences. In September, they embarked on their mission: to research and further develop innovations to achieve even better performance for Solar Team Twente and all its business partners. Esmee says, “Solar Team Twente has been performing at a high level for years during the World Solar Car Championship. We want to continue this in the future.”

Why an Innovation Team?

To ensure continuity, an innovation team was established this year. Esmee explains, “A team working on a solar car does this over a period of one and a half years. The race in Australia is biennial. This leaves about half a year where little happens, and there is hardly any contact with the partners. There was not enough time for the existing team to spend much time on research and further development alongside the actual construction of the solar car. As an additional team, we do have this time. During the race, we were the back office, not in Australia but in Twente, connecting with the Australia team and the outside world, including providing information to the media.”


Once the solar car, which raced in Australia last week in the World Solar Challenge, is back with the team in Enschede, the research will continue immediately. “We already know how the car is put together, of course. But we want to explore possibilities for further development, also based on the race data,” says the team member.


The Solar Team Twente brand is also a focus for the innovation team. According to Esmee, the team wants to use the extra time to share more knowledge with companies and partners.

Would You Like to Race Too?

It’s not that this team only conducts research and doesn’t race; quite the opposite. Esmee says, “We don’t participate in the race from Darwin to Adelaide, but we keep an eye on what a possible race could be. Different locations have different conditions than in Australia. The roads may have more turns, hills, or a goal other than being the fastest. This requires a completely different strategy. It allows us to think outside the box, which the other team can benefit from. Moreover, it provides different data and possible innovations to further explore.”

Solar Team Twente Secures Second Place in Australia

Every two years, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place in Australia. Various teams from around the world compete in this F1 class of solar cars, making a journey from Darwin to Adelaide, right through the desert, on solar energy. Solar Team Twente also participates in this challenge, competing for the win. This year, the team secured the second-place position.


Several companies are partners of Solar Team Twente, contributing to innovations, materials, and sponsoring the student team and various developments. The partners include ‚ÄčROC van TwenteUniversiteit TwenteSaxionUrencoETCVIRODemconTechnology Base and Aeronamic.

Afbeelding header: Ewald Geerdink

Afbeelding in tekst: Solar Team Twente

Date: 31 October 2023 |

Source of tekst: Solar Team Twente Innovatieteam, Esmee Hulsman |