Dutch Dutch Design (17): Nuna4 ready for competition in the Australian World Solar Challenge.

World Solar Challenge
The World Solar Challenge

The Panasonic World Solar Challenge will start October 21, 2007 in Darwin Australia.

World Solar Challenge Map
World Solar Challenge Map

The Australian Panasonic World Solar Challenge is a bi annual 3000 km solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia since 1987, so this year it celebrates its 20ieth anniversary. The challenge is for student teams from universities and colleges to design and construct the fastest vehicle that is propelled on solar energy only and can endure the 3000 km distance. The 2007 challenge counts 45 entries from 21 countries.

I Love Nuna4
I Love Nuna4

Along with other solar cars, Nuna4 will be competing under extreme weather conditions, having to navigate between other traffic on the road – with the notorious and dangerous Australian road trains – as well as avoiding kangaroos and other obstacles.

Nuna4 003

The competition will be fierce this year. The US team of the University of Michigan even managed to secure a very high budget for the construction of its solar car with the specific aim of dethroning the Dutch Nuna 4 team of students from the Delft University of Technology who won 3 prior editions of this race in 2001 (team Alpha Centauri and average speed of 91,8 km/h), 2003 (Nuon Solar Team with Nuna II and average speed of 97 km/h), 2005 (with Nuna 3 and average speed of 103 km/h) in a row. You can understand why I am proud to be a Dutchman with these results.

Nuna4 Wind Tunnel Tested

The team has successfully come through the wind tunnel testing sessions. Its top speed is reported to be over 140km/hr. It is a really professional operation!

Team Nuna4 consists of four Aerospace Engineering students: Susan Luijten, Hjalmar van Raemdonck, Oliver van der Meer and Demian de Ruijter. The Design Engineering Department is repreented by Joep Steenbeek, Tine Lavrysen and Ivo Hagemans. Mechanical engineer Rabih Alzaher and Electrical Engineering graduate Paul Beckers are also on board. Stefan Roest brings an unusual perspective to the project from his Shipbuilding studies and will be the team leader. The team members have either completed their Bachelor’s degree, or are about to do so in a short time.

Apparently Nuna4 is in the process of revamping its website. It is clear that the development of the car had their first priority.

More Nuna4 photos are available on Flickr Nuon Solarteam

A Nuna4 video with Dutch Language comment showing recent tests at the Dutch Trucker DAF test course:


Nuna4

I wish them lots of luck!

Here a photo and a video of the unveiling of one of its fiercest competitors, the Continuum of University of Michigan:

University of Michigan Continuum Solar Car
University of Michigan Continuum Solar Car

University of Michigan Continuum unveiled

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