Students from Universidad Andrés Bello will participate in the upcoming Atacama Solar Race that will take place between the Nov. 13-17. The team is composed of students and faculty from the university’s school of engineering and has been hard at work to create a vehicle that is fully powered by solar energy.
The project is directed by Dr. Luis Amigo, director of automation and robotics engineering, and is being carried out by 21 students from a number of different fields in engineering. A student from the journalism program is part of the team and focuses on sharing news regarding the student’s prototype and their progress.
Work on the car, named Sköll after a mythical Nordic warg, began in May of this year. During the ceremony to celebrate the prototype’s launch at UNAB’s República campus, Héctor Valdés, director of academic quality at the institution, congratulated the students for their work and thanked the San Mateo Institute and other groups that shared resources and expertise to guide the team.
According to Dr. Amigo, “The vehicle was designed to be operated on paved roads. It has an electric motor and is covered in 6 square meters of highly flexible and highly efficient solar panels. As part of the competition, the vehicle will need to have a driver and reach speed of 70 kilometers per hour.
The Atacama Solar Race was first launched in 2011 and aims to promote research and innovation in solar technology. Hundreds of teams from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and other countries have participated. The race this year will pass through Calama, Antofagasta, San Pedro de Atacama and Tocopilla, a total distance of 1,400 kilometers.