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At Solar Boat Twente, the past year has been one of ups and downs. A lot of knowledge has been brought into the team on various disciplines like cooling, control systems and many practical aspects. In June, the team went to the World Water Forum for Life in Portugal, to promote sustainable water sports. Here, they won the 3-hour long endurance race, beating the other Dutch, Portuguese, and Polish teams! All in all, they finished 3rd over all events. At the same time, the team gathered loads of data and used all this information to prepare the boat for the championship at the Monaco Yacht Club in July. Unfortunately, human error together with mechanical failures stopped the team from completing the various events in Monaco which meant they could not compete for a podium place anymore.
By winning the endurance race in Portugal and experimenting with different new, innovative technologies the team has shown to have a lot of potential, and everything will be done to release this potential into concrete results in the next year.
Solar Boat Twente wants to thank Eurocircuits with their quick and reliable assistance. Two main projects have been executed with the help of Eurocircuits this year.
The first one was to make sensors that measure the live performance of each of the solar panels. These analytics help in analysing, diagnosing, and testing the panels in real-time. Using current and voltage sensors in combination with microcontrollers, 4 such sensors could be placed on a single 6x6cm PCB.
The other PCB is an IO interfacing board which is responsible for connecting the data and power pins to various sensors, switches, connectors and transmits this information with the CAN protocol to the other electronics in the boat. By creating one node that does this for all sensors in front of the boat, a lot of wiring and complexity is avoided.
The next team of students has already started ideating and designing the next generation of (electronic) parts for the boat. They are now developing a PCB for the new steering wheel. This circuit will be responsible for making the steering wheel a standalone part which can translate all the button input from the pilot to the CAN protocol. Also, on this design Solar Boat Twente wants to keep working with Eurocircuits and utilise their experience in PCB making technology.