Esteban, Polytechnique Montreal's Solar Car
The transport industry is now faced with two problematics: the decreasing availability of energy resources and the incompatibility of our current energy sources with a long term environmentaly friendly industrial development.
Our dependence on fossil fuels forces us to consider other types of energy such as renewable energies. The solar car gives us the opportunity to make the public aware of the potential of solar energy, often put aside especially due to its high cost. If there is a lot of work to do, we must not forget the progress that has been done: from the first solar cells of Charles Fritts, in 1883, which would only transform 1% of the solar energy in courant, until the indium gallium arsenide modern cells, that went up to 40% of efficiency. The prospects offered are becoming more and more interesting.
Engineers in the making, focused on environmental issues
In addition to the message it conveys, the Esteban project is also a true engineering, design and manufacturing project that makes the link between Polytechnique engineering courses and practice.
All phases of the project are carried out by the students, the preliminary design for test drives, through fundraising and suppliers, as well as the construction of the vehicle. Esteban is a unique environment where students can gain experience, deepen areas of interest while learning from more experienced students.