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Project Summary

The Solar Brazil Challenge (DSB) is a university extension project that organizes a competition of solar-powered boats aiming to stimulate the development of technologies for alternative sources of clean energy, as well as to disseminate the potential of these technologies for applications in service, leisure and passenger transport vessels.


University competitions encourage participants to overcome technical challenges in favor of an established demand. The Solar Challenge embraces education through work and shared management in the development of the competition teams. The result is a great motivation for students to qualify, reaching a point at which they are able to overcome all difficulties to achieve success.

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Conceived by Professor Fernando Amorim (in memoriam), based on the Frisian Solar Challenge, from the Netherlands, the Solar Brazil Challenge aims to encourage research, education and university extension, contributing to the educational, social and technological development of Brazil.


In October 2007 we started the prototype of the first version of the vessel's design. In December of the same year the construction of the prototype began and it was completed in May 2008. The prototype was named Copacabana.


Between June 21 and 28, 2008, an interdisciplinary team from the UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) Nautical Center participated in the Frisian Solar Challenge, a solar boat competition that takes place every two years in the Frisian region of the north of the Netherlands.

The Brazilian team received an incentive award and the support of the Dutch hosts for holding a similar event in Rio de Janeiro. The team returned to Brazil enthusiastic about the idea and determined to repeat the challenge here, organizing the first Brazilian solar boat competition.


The project is based on three main themes: Sport, Education and Technology.

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- Popularize nautical culture and maritime sports

- Promote the applications of alternative energy sources

- Stimulate quality teaching in science, other technologies, and the environment

- To introduce students to the labor market

- Promote exchanges between students and researchers of science and technology


- Consolidate the class of electric boats powered by solar energy, stimulate Latin American representatives, and hold itinerant events in cities throughout Brazil.

Solar Brazil Challenge - Shaping the future:

The planet as a whole has been suffering more constantly with phenomena of extreme nature, such as storms, cyclones, heat waves, hurricanes, and others, in addition to more and more incidents that can occur due to interference caused by man, such as dam slides, landslides, explosions of industrial and petrochemical plants. All these events, natural or not, affect the world population daily and at various levels, forcing governments, industries, and universities to rethink the current energy matrices for new renewable sources which cause less effects on the environment.


In this sense, Solar Brazil Challenge has been working at the forefront of this new era, using solar-powered boats as the basis of the new generation of conscious sports. In addition, new practices like this help in the development of new technologies and in the dissemination of this type of vessel for sports, leisure and transportation practices. This is our main goal, to spread the use of solar technology and encourage its propagation

ENEL (National Entity of Electricity) Space

  • Ship Models

  • Procel Model House

  • Human Battery

  • Plasma Globe

  • Dynamo power generator

  • Custom Enel Boat

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Action in Schools

The Solar Brazil Challenge in Schools is part of the extension project, where students of the extension project interact with schools in the regions where DSB events are taking place.


The goal is to share the teachings on Circular Economy, sustainable development, solar energy and environmental preservation with the students of these schools, and to guide them on how they can include these good practices in their daily lives.


The Solar Brazil Challenge is a multiplier project that leaves a mark in the places it passes through, encouraging many young people to be interested in learning about the technologies that solar energy provides.

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"The initiative is a chance for us to remember when we were at this stage in life. To think that there is an opportunity for students to experience something so early on about what they learn in college is very good. We also put ourselves in their shoes, and we are mindful that if we also had had this opportunity it would have been incredible. So this project is a turning point in the lives of many teenagers, sometimes with a presentation like this they can even identify themselves whit it and choose it as their professional field in the future."

Giovana V Ferreira

Extension Worker

Niterói Stage 2023

In the Niterói stage 2023, the project visited elementary and high schools. The team presented the project of the Solar Brazil Challenge and made an invitation for the students of the schools to visit the event. ENEL's Sustainability team was together with the DSB team promoting its initiatives of good sustainability practices and reduction of carbon emissions in the environment.

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Exhibition of students' technical works

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In addition to the traditional boat competition, we also present Seminars that address relevant topics such as Renewable Energy, Science Education, Other Technologies, Environment, Transition of the Energy Matrix and Electric Vehicles.