Solar Cup 2018

11th Solar Cup competition closing event was held at the Institute of Solid State Physics on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

21 team from different schools were registered for the races. The teams were sent the solar panels and engine kits. 18 teams arrived on May 26 with 2-3 participants in each of them, total of 35 pupils from Aloja, Naukšēni, Jelgava, Vārkava, Rauna, Rīga schools as well as from Jūrmala and Lielvārde Youth Interest Education Centres.

The event was opened by the director of ISSP UL Mārtiņš Rutkis. Timurs Safiuļins, director of Riga Energy Agency, gave a speech too. The ISSP UL researchers Ainārs Knoks and Pēteris Lesničenoks, main organizers and referees of the event, gave some guiding instructions.

Real zero emission vehicles could be seen and tested at the event – the ISSP-made solar electric tricycle and bicycle roller by Dainis Kreilis with computerized control, where everyone could try their abilities in a 250 m distance (the fastest was the scientific assistant of the institute Artis Volkovs, who drove 250 m with the speed of 64 km/h, only a bit slower was participant from Lielvārde Youth Interest Centre Valters Lesničenoks).

The first race of the day was the 9 m distance, where a team from Vārkava Secondary School won with the result 6.43 seconds; 2nd was Rauna Secondary School team (this is the second year they are in the second place in this discipline) and 3rd was a team from Jelgava 4th Secondary School.

There were not many participants in the Power race track – the wheels of the light vehicles spooled on the smooth track and could not lift even an empty cardboard box. The winner was Jūrmala Yount Interest Centre with its team. 2nd came team from Jelgava 4th Secondary School and 3rd – team from Riga Natālija Draudziņa Secondary School.

The winner of water race in 8 m distance was a team from Naukšēni Secondary School with the result 18.7 seconds, 2nd came team from Aloja Auseklis Secondary School (19,5s) and 3rd – team from Vārkava Secondary School (20.3 s).

The ultimate winners of the Solar Cup 2018 were determined by a number of criteria – home works (model sketches and video about the building of the model), performance at the races, knowledge test – filling in questionnaire with 10 questions about green energy and also overall criteria of the team – attire, behaviour, attitude towards others etc. Jūrmala Youth Interest Education Centre team (teacher Nauris Seržants) was the winner receiving tablet PCs sponsored by Riga Energy Agency. The 2nd place went to team from Jelgava 4th Secondary School (science teachers Aina Pitrāne and Rolands Ozoliņš); 3rd – Rauna Secondary School team (physics teacher Brigita Zēmele).

Lecture on spatial data and their importance in everyday life was presented enthusiastically by Dainis Kreilis, whereas lecture on how to combine aesthetic and functional solutions in autonomous systems in Latvia’s conditions in SIA Saules Dizains projects was presented by ISSP UL research assistant Artis Volkovs. Juris Golunovs, head of Energy Efficiency Information Centre of Riga Energy Agency explained how energy efficiency and green energy are being implemented in Riga

The biggest gratitude is to the supporters of the event – Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia (financial support for parts’ kits, technical preparation and running of the event), Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (every participant of the event and the teachers received a book by UL Academic Publishing house “Latvija. Zeme, daba, tauta, valsts”), Ministry of Education and Science awarded three special awards – participation in IV World Latvian Scientists Congress, these invitations were given to Katrīna Rūmniece-Pakule (from team Riga State Gymnasium No 1), Ņikita Puķe and Renārs Kokins (team Jelgava 4th Secondary School). The event was also supported by JSC “Latvenergo”, Riga Energy Agency, “Viessmann” Ltd, “Lielvārds” Ltd, “MapLant” Ltd, magazine Ilustrētā Zinātne, as well as the Ministry of Economics of Latvia, whose representatives observed the competition and gave Recognition Diplomas to 3 teams chosen by them.

Link to the students' video on how the vehicles are made: