Leuven, Belgium – LMS announced today that it is again one of the lead sponsors and engineering partner of the Belgian Umicore solar team. Through this sponsorship, LMS is actively supporting the team’s participation in the World Solar Challenge. The Umicore solar team consists of 14 students and graduate students from Groep T, one of Belgium’s leading engineering schools. The solar team successfully designed, engineered and built a world-class solar car, the Umicar Inspire, to compete in the world championship for solar cars, to be held in Australia from the 25th until the 31st of October, 2009.
Dr. Urbain Vandeurzen, chairman and CEO of LMS International, “We are delighted to support the Groep T students with this project. The Umicar Inspire promotes Belgian high-tech capabilities. The project showcases the current possibilities of renewable energy as a commercial power source and to create awareness about the limitations of classic energy sources. We wish the whole team a very successful race in Australia and hope they win.”
The solar team already participated twice in the World Solar Race; once in 2005 when they finished eleventh and a second time in 2007, when they managed to capture second place. For the 2009 edition, Groep T formed a new team of young engineers to build on the success of the previous teams and build a winning solar car.
LMS has actively supported the solar team in developing and building the Umicar Inspire. The car’s suspension system is based on a three-wheeler construction. The two-wheel front suspension is fitted with a specially designed, raised double wishbone suspension. The rear wheel is suspended with the help of an optimized swing arm. To engineer this unconventional setup, the students used LMS Virtual.Lab Motion. This LMS simulation tool helped them quickly evaluate the dynamic performance of different design alternatives, efficiently define the hard points of the suspension and dimension the different key components. The virtual testing of the suspension was very promising and during the test drives, the car showed a very stable and efficient behavior on the road.
The World Solar Challenge has become part of the broader Global Green Challenge. The Global Green Challenge is a platform and testing ground for the next generation of vehicle technology. It is a trial and exhibition of ecologically friendly vehicles through the heart of Australia’s iconic landscape, stretching 3,000 km from Darwin to Adelaide.
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