Nuon Solar Team reveals two of their secret weapons to all the competing teams with which they hope to win the longest solar race in the world, the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa. The biggest secret: a new solar panel, which according to the team is "the best solar panel in the world".
The efficiency of the new solar panel is mainly thanks to DSM's newly developed ´light-trapping technology´. It consists of a film featuring uniquely shaped corner cubes that prevent light from reflecting off the array as well as redirect light that does reflect from the cell surface back onto the cell again. In addition, the light is more effectively guided to the solar cells during the morning and evening hours when the sun is set at low angles. For the Nuon Solar Team it results in driving roughly 200 kilometres more than during the previous race, two years ago. The new panel is also easier to clean without damaging the silicate cells.
With this new version of solar car Nuna, the Nuon Solar Team thinks they have a good shot at winning the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa once again.
Taking a look in solar car Nuna
Just two days before the start of the solar race, the students of Delft University of Technology are opening up their solar car so the race officials can test the car inside and out. This way the SASOL Solar Challenge checks if the solar car meets the regulations of the competition, before the solar cars can race on the public roads of South Africa. For the Nuon Solar Team this is an exciting moment: "This is the first time for other teams to see our new solar panel. This also gives us the opportunity to check out the other solar cars and size up the competition." says David Kester, Electrical Engineer of the Nuon Solar Team.
Another innovation that will supply extra energy to the solar car, is a new mirrored surface on the cockpit. This reflects additional sunlight onto the solar array, so Nuna absorbs more solar energy. The solar car from Delft University of Technology is likewise making progress on different areas. In this manner the aerodynamics improved over 2% relative to last year´s car. This is not only because of larger and smoother modules of the solar cells, but also due to an overall optimised shape.
The last secret weapon of the Nuon Solar Team is announced on the 22nd of September, during the qualification contest.
SASOL Solar Challenge SA
On the 24th of September the SASOL Solar Challenge will start: an eight day solar race from Pretoria to Cape Town. The Nuon Solar Team is entering with an upgraded version of solar car Nuna8, with which they became world champions last year in Australia: Nuna8s. The challenge is to drive more kilometres than the other teams. The team of Delft University of Technology set its goal at 4500 kilometres.
Since 2001 the Nuon Solar Team won the world title in Australia in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge a stunning six times and the SASOL Solar Challenge once.
With the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa they hope to test their secret weapons to lay a foundation for another world title in Australia. It is their goal to add a new chapter to the history of the Nuon Solar Team by winning the SASOL Solar Challenge again and to advance the development of their sustainable technologies.
Source and top image: Nuon Solar Team