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Brazilian Solar Boat skims in to Bronze

Students build winning solar powered racing catamaran

The Arariboia Solar Boat Team is delighted to have reached 3rd place in the Brazil Solar Challenge, catamaran class – their best performance yet!

They generously attribute this performance, at least in part, to the use of Victron Energy components for their power harvest – centred around the SmartSolar MPPT 100/20-48V

The Brazil Solar Challenge is a competition between solar boats built by students from Brazil’s Universities. The result was achieved early in February with this 2020 event taking place in São Francisco do Sul – Santa Catarina, Brazil. This was the first time in the history of the Arariboia Solar Boat Team that participants had climbed onto the podium!

Brazil Solar Challenge

Brazil Solar Challenge has the purpose of encouraging the development of technology related to clean energy. It also provides an environment of good-natured competition in which Brazilian students can learn and grow together. Based on the Frisian Solar Challenge – an annual event which was dreamed up… and takes in Holland – Brazil Solar Challenge receives applications from teams all over the country for craft in two separate classes: the Catamaran; and the Free Class. During a week of events the teams participate in many different race-styles, including: Speed Races, Long and Short Races, Relay and Slalom. At the end of the week the winner is the team which has completed all events in the least time.

Arariboia Solar Boat Team

The Arariboia team was founded at the end of 2011 and has been taking part in the competition since 2012. Today it is composed of 22 students all of whom are studying a range of disciplines at the Fluminense Federal University. Climbing the results table has taken an accumulation of knowledge. Through the years since the team has been focused on innovation, trying new ideas, building on what has gone before – and approach which achieved recognition at the event held in 2016 – when they won the Innovation Award for their development of a telemetric system, and for developing a vessel-control ability using a tablet. For this latest season – 2020 – the team decided to change the entire electrical and propulsion system, encouraged, they say, by the support of all companies that believed in the project. Understandably, then, the team is delighted with this year’s result.

Lucas Ferreira, who is the team’s current Electrical Sector Leader, explained how important Victron Energy’s products were to the boat’s performance: “They were extremely suitable for our necessities on building the 2020 electrical system. Firstly, the charge controller MPPT 100/20-48V with telemetry by Bluetooth was vital for us to analyze photovoltaic generation during the competition. Furthermore, the BMV-702 allowed us to study levels of energy and voltage in the main battery, as well as in the auxiliary one (both competition’s requirements). These are high quality commercial solutions, which were key factors for the team’s system operation, as well as validating results of technologies we have been developing.”

Victron Energy is proud to sponsor the Aroriboia Engineering students; we enjoy their enthusiasm for green energy, and their uncompromising search for performance.

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