What is the TU Delft Solar Boat Team?

The TU Delft Solar Boat Team is one of the Dream Teams in the D:Dream Hall at the TU Delft campus. The name of this building is an acronym for ‘Delft: Dream Realization of Extremely Advanced Machines’. In the D:Dream Hall, several student teams work on their own innovative projects. Our team consists of 28 ambitious students from ten different faculties at TU Delft. In one year, the students of our team go through the process of designing, producing and finally racing our solar boat.

This project gives our students the opportunity to gain practical experience and learn what it’s like to work together in a multidisciplinary team towards an ambitious goal. Over the course of one year, they will gain skills that will benefit them for the rest of their professional careers.

Our mission!

With this project we want to work together with the maritime sector on a transition to renewable energy.

There is still a lot to be gained in this sector and by thinking together with the maritime world and innovating in the field of sustainability, we contribute to a better and greener future. Because only together we can make real change happen.

History

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In the history of the TU Delft Solar Boat Team

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Have been built in the history of the TU Delft Solar Boat Team

In 2005 several Maritime Engineering students founded the TU Delft Solar Boat Team. A year later, winning the “Frisian Solar Challenge” was set as goal and achieved. Following this success, a second team was founded in 2008 to design an entirely new solar boat. With this, the team was able to prolong its top position.

Every two years a completely new boat was designed and built. The following year this boat was upgraded and optimized, with the current team learning from the mistakes made the year before. However, since 2016 we have decided to build a completely new boat every year instead of optimizing the Solar Boat of the year before.

In 2010 the switch to hydrofoils has been made. This switch introduced a completely new way of sailing. The two teams that followed also used hydrofoils  but were unfortunately not able to win in the Dutch Solar Challenge.

After four years the team went into a new direction. They built a boat that sailed on two so-called struts; T-shaped hydrofoils. While sailing, the hull comes completely out of the water, which is a spectacular sight. With this concept a speed of 51 km/h was reached in 2015, a record within the team. In 2016 that record was broken again with a speed of 55 km/h.

In 2017 the team designed a boat with three hydrofoils. In addition to lowering resistance, the wings now also had the function of improving the stability and manoeuvrability of the boat.

The most important technical development in the Solar Boat of 2018 was the double steering system. Because there were elements in the races where efficiency and manoeuvrability were essential, a system was devised in which the pilot could move the front and rear strut independently. The biggest challenges were to keep it as compact as possible and to guarantee ease of use during the race.

In 2019, the team designed a solar boat for the open sea. With this boat, they became world champions in the Offshore Class in Monaco.

This year, the 2020 team makes a solar boat for the renewed class in the Solar Sport One Race. This race is similar to Formula 1, only for solar boats from all over the world. Just like the Formula 1 race, where a car has multiple tire sets, we make multiple wing sets. These ensure that we can make optimal use of all our energy during the different races. More information can be found on our Solar Boat page.