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Daily press, Trade press, 2015-02-04, 02:43 PM

Joint research by Bochum University of Applied Sciences and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe: Electric vehicle ˮThyssenKrupp SunRiserˮ with latest innovations in solar car design – preparations underway for World Solar Challenge in Australia

ThyssenKrupp Powercore SunCruiser
The University of Bochum and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe are continuing their successful research project and building on the success of the year before last when the predecessor vehicle, the “ThyssenKrupp Powercore SunCruiser”, came 2nd in the World Solar Challenge in Australia.

Bochum University of Applied Sciences and ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe are collaborating on a major research project into solar vehicle construction. At the heart of the project is a new solar car being developed by the two partners under the name "ThyssenKrupp SunRiser”. It is to take part in the World Solar Challenge in Australia from October 18 to 25. Having decided to enter the Cruiser Class, the University is now building its first ever sports car. For this model the team of students are making increased use of lightweight steels. To provide additional input on materials and mechanical engineering, the solar car team will this year be joined by a new member: Daniel Lohmeyer (25) from Bochum, a student worker at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. The team aims to build on its success in the competition the year before, when Bochum University of Applied Sciences took second place with the predecessor vehicle "ThyssenKrupp Powercore SunCruiser" with a motor featuring highly efficient electrical steel from ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe.

Innovative development with steel solutions

The motor design for the new model will benefit from the experience gained in previous years. But to make it even more efficient in terms of route parameters, strategy and expected speeds, special electrical steels will be used. And not only the motor will feature materials and know-how from ThyssenKrupp. Bochum University of Applied Sciences is currently designing a car in which for the first time the share of carbon fiber components is to be reduced. To date solar car developers have tended to rely on carbon. This time lightweight steel solutions are being used which are not only lower in cost but also offer advantages in terms of ecology and sustainability.

So the motto for this practical and road legal solar sports car is multi-material design. "ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has developed numerous innovative lightweight solutions with steel which are used by the auto industry. We are trying to incorporate some of these for the first time into this solar vehicle," says Oliver Hoffmann, head of applications technology in Duisburg. For instance high-strength complex phase steel grade CP-W 1000 will be used for the roll bar, and magnesium for the center tunnel and dash panel. In addition ThyssenKrupp Bilstein, the Group's suspension specialist, is supplying customized dampers.

More than 3,000 kilometers “down under”

More is also to be invested in making the interior of the car attractive. The World Solar Challenge will not be decided on time alone. Judges will award points for practicality, design and comfort. The engineers also have to meet very high demands on reliability. All components must survive the more than 3,000 kilometer route from Darwin to Adelaide without failing. The role model here is the predecessor vehicle “ThyssenKrupp Powercore SunCruiser”, which finished the 2013 challenge in second place without suffering a single breakdown.

Student team already working on body parts

Work is already underway on the various body parts. However the design remains a secret for now. The first pictures of the car are to be released at the end of April. The finished vehicle is to be unveiled in the middle of the year before it begins its journey to Australia. But at least the vehicle already has a name: The latest product of the Bochum solar car specialists is called “ThyssenKrupp SunRiser”.

Bochum University of Applied Sciences has been building solar cars for 15 years

Bochum University of Applied Sciences has been designing and building solar-powered electric vehicles for 15 years and is the only university in Germany to do so. In 2012 one of its solar cars circumnavigated the globe on solar power alone, earning it a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by a solar electric vehicle (29,753 kilometers). The “ThyssenKrupp SunRiser” will be the seventh solar car built entirely by students. Like its two predecessors it will be street-legal with a black number plate.

World Solar Challenge in Australia every two years

The World Solar Challenge takes place in Australia every two years and is run on public roads bisecting the continent from north to south. The “ThyssenKrupp SunRiser” will compete in the cruiser class, where the regulations stipulate practicality, a roadworthiness certificate in the country of origin and at least two seats. In addition to the energy recovered during driving from the solar panels on the car’s surface, the batteries in this class, which must weigh no more than 60 kilograms, may be recharged once from the mains after 1,500 kilometers. The cars will hit top speeds of over 120 kilometers per hour. The challenge begins on October 18, 2015 and ends six days later at the finish line in Adelaide.

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