TU/e-students ready for World Solar Challenge
Very briefly things were a little tense: would the car of the Eindhoven student team – especially the battery – arrive in Australia in time? But they are there, just in time for the World Solar Challenge, a race for solar-powered cars over 3,000 kilometers right through the Australian outback. Eindhoven is defending its gold medal in the Cruiser Class, the category for solar-powered cars that need to cover the route in the most energy-efficient way and with as many occupants as possible.
To win the Cruiser Class again the Eindhoven team must ensure not only that it arrives in Adelaide on Friday 13 October but that it has carried as many occupants as possible per kilometer. And do so using as little energy as possible. Finally, on Saturday 14 October the car will be judged in terms of ingenious novelties like a solar navigation system. The result follows on 15 October in Adelaide.
The solar-powered car for five occupants came out of a team of ambitious students from TU Eindhoven who had a vision: to prove the feasibility of a solar-powered car. Using materials like carbon makes the car very lightweight. And smart design optimizes the car’s aerodynamics, or air resistance properties. This makes the car lighter and more energy-efficient. The surplus energy can be returned to the electricity grid, rather than the other way around.
The students have proven that this is not a pipe dream. The car has withstood every test that the road traffic authorities (RDW) have thrown at it and has therefore obtained a Dutch registration number. The students can drive on public roads with their car.
Solar Team Eindhoven is one of the three Dutch teams in Australia. Another is reigning champion Delft, who just headed Twente at the post two years ago. Through till Sunday 15 October you can follow the experiences of the teams, the preparations, their hardships in the outback and their performance each day on NPO 1 and via NPO Start. Herman van der Zandt and Anna Gimbrere present the program ‘Oranje Boven Down Under’.
Don't want to miss anything from the race? Download the NOS World Solar Challenge 2017-app in the Play Store or Apple Store or via www.nos.nl/solarapp (from 7 October).