While doing research on existing solar powered velomobiles I – of course – stumbled across the Sun Trip. Turns out this year they will have a „Prologue“ to the big rally to China. While a trip to China is not quite my goal I was excited to read that the Prologue will start quite close to my hometown. It is set to begin in Frankfurt, Germany and finish in Lyon, France after a seven day journey. This will be in time to witness the starting ceremony for the Sun Trip itself.
I signed up for that immediately. I am all excited about this whole rally anyway. Some of the finest solar-powered velomobiles have participated in the previous year’s Sun Trips and some will do this year. The Prologue’s much shorter distance and also the much less strict set of rules in comparison to the main event will allow me to turn up and compete in my Solaroweder set-up with no further modifications necessary. It will be a perfect occasion for a thorough test-run.
The sheduled 130 km stages – some of them include quite some climbing – will not allow me to rely on solar power only. The planned Solaroweder set-up will use the solar energy as a range extender to the stored energy in the battery. It is not meant to being able to gather equally as much power from sun-light as the vehicle does consume. Thus, after driving 130 km under time pressure – that is with no chance to wait for good weather – I expect the battery to be rather low even with the solar panels functional. So, I will probably have to supply extra power from the grid during the nights.
That is my guess anyway. I’ll call it a test-run and learn. Right after the finish in Lyon I shall continue the trip on my own anyway, at my own chosen speed. That will give me a chance to rely on collected sun light only. I will have almost two weeks before I have to show up at the 24 hrs Brelinger Berg near Hannover where I will compete in a vehicle that is still a secret right now.
Update April 2020: Unfortunately the SunTrip Prologue 2020 was cancelled because of Corona hysteria. Why not simply cancel eating animals or flying?