3D printed solar electric car to Antarctica


Liesbeth and Edwin ter Velde are preparing to drive a solar traveler, an electric off-road vehicle that is completely solar-powered, all the way to the South Pole. This is what they plan to do.

Solar traveler

The project, called Clean2Antarctica, is part of a Dutch couple's support for a zero waste lifestyle.

The two set a goal to collect waste plastic waste and take special measures to change them. Their final idea was to use plastic waste to build solar electric vehicles that would drive them to Antarctica.

Of course, there are already electric snowmobiles in Antarctica, but for this unique project, the team needs to think outside the box.

To build the "Solar Traveler" from plastic waste, the couple designed a new hexagonal building block, called HexCore, made from recycled materials.

According to the team: "We shredded the pieces into the filament supplied for the 3D printer. Then we took it to the next level and performed it on an industrial scale using recycled pellets from abandoned factories. Using 40 3D Printer, we printed 4,000 HexCores. This is a hive-inspired building block with a light and sturdy design. "

These components are then combined together to form the structure of their electric vehicle. Once the solar traveler's enclosure is created, the rest of the technology is complete. The solar traveler ultimately consists of a four-wheeled off-road vehicle that tows a pair of two-wheeled trailers.

The trailer supports 10 double-sided solar panels and can also store supplies, including food for 47 days.

3D printed solar electric car to Antarctica

Still, the team hasn't dragged heavy water. Instead, they drink water with the surrounding ice. The ice will melt in six solar vacuum tubes.

Infrared windows are installed in the cab to help absorb sunlight and keep the cab warm.

The solar traveler weighs 1,485 kilograms and is relatively lightweight considering the gear needed to keep the solar traveler moving and keep the couple alive.

The solar traveler is 16 meters long and travels at a speed of 8 km / h. This slow speed maximizes the power efficiency produced by solar panels.

As the team explains, design is certainly not without some technical challenges: "Driving Antarctica requires creative thinking. How do we float on snow or provide drinking water? How do we communicate with the mission control center? Ten solar panels provide constant power for the engine Power, the vacuum tube can melt the ice. It's lightweight and distributed on special wheels to make driving more efficient. Solar Traveller started as a plastic puzzle and is now a high-tech car built for Antarctica. "

The team finally solved all the problems for solar travellers, thanks to a shock in Iceland.

The journey of the sun traveler

3D printed solar electric car to Antarctica

Within five weeks, the team will set off from their Antartica base camp and drive to Antarctica. From there, they will return directly to complete the 2,400 km journey. If everything goes according to plan, the journey should last about 30 days.

Along the way they will endure summer temperatures of -30C and 24 hours of sunlight, although the last part may be a good thing.

If you ask why choose Antartica? Then you are not alone. Solar competitions have been taking place in the United States, Europe and Asia. But Antartica has special significance for the team's mission.

They explained: "Antarctica owns 90% of the world's ice and does not belong to anyone. The law is zero waste, making it an ideal destination for zero waste adventures. We can learn from Antarctica and make sure it stays that way. We It also hopes to raise awareness of the Antarctic Treaty. If not extended in 2048, the African continent will be open for commercial development. "


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