The solar car that conquers deserts

Friday, 24 April 2016

“The same mix of technical ingenuity, innovation and passion for craftsmanship that invented the Torpedo and shaped the legend of Ferrari, is bringing Solar Wave to the streets today. ”

A solar wave that follows in the legend of Ferrari

Emilia 3 is the latest result of a story that has lasted ten years and has brought a series of vehicles powered only by the sun to the road.

Teachers, students and young researchers at the University of Bologna and from the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have been engaged in the Onda Solare (Solar Wave) project since 2003.

“Collaboration with the Maranello School and a long list of small and large companies from the area of the province of Modena has turned the ideas of the project into reality.”

Not far from the Ferrari headquarters, a group of designers and planners, computer and mechanical engineers and experts of aerodynamics and physics all work together.

Thanks to them, solar car prototypes that bring together hard work, craftsmanship and development of new technologies have taken form over the last 10 years.

Passion and innovation come together in this project, which Enel Green Power supports in its challenges around the world. We recognise the Solar Wave team for its dedication to go beyond patterns and conventions to build the future.

In competition in the “Mars” desert

We experienced, together with the Emilia 3 team, the great adventure of the Carrera solar, the first ecological rally in Latin America, founded to encourage technological innovation and mobility projects based on renewable energy.

“A 2300 km race powered by the sheer force of the sun, along the roads that cross the Chilean desert, passing through the regions of Tarapacá, Antofagasta and Atacama.”

On 21 April, at the starting line of the Carrera, 21 teams from around the world showed up to represent universities, research centres, and private entities that have taken on the solar car challenge.

Totally arid, with humidity close to zero and vast areas without any life forms, the Atacama Desert is one of the preferred locations of space agencies planning travel to Mars, to test rovers destined for the Red Planet.

The renewables race in Chile

There is no place in the world more suited to hosting a race like Carrera solar. The Atacama Desert is the Earth’s region with the highest level of solar irradiation, with an exposure of up to 2,380 hours annually and a percentage of radiation that is higher than the Sahara.

“The sun that attracts the cars of the Carrera to Atacama and Antofagasta also led the renewables of Enel Green Power to this corner of Chile.”

We started construction of the Diego de Almagro photovoltaic plant, our first solar plant in Chile, on 25 November 2013. Today, we have 253 MW of installed capacity of solar energy and six plants in the region: the last one to come into operation was Pampa Norte, connected to the grid on 6 April 2016.

The sun that allowed Emilia 3 to race all the way to the podium of Carrera Solar is the same sun that Chile has chosen to give energy to its new race – toward more sustainable, clean development that is respectful of the environment and the people living there.