Two Dutch University Teams unveil Solar Cars for the Australian World Solar Challenge (Dutch Design 46)

World Solar Challenge 2009

Two Dutch University Teams have unveiled their new solar cars for the 2009 Australian World Solar Challenge (the 10th Challenge).

The WSC runs over 3,000 km from Darwin in North Australia to Adelaide in South Australia. The start will be on October 25, 2009.

Nuon Solar Team of TU Delft

The Nuon Solar Team consisting of 14 undergraduates from TU (Technical University) Delft, led by coach Wubbo Ockels, the only Dutch Astronaut, here left on the photo, have unveiled their entry for the unofficial world championship for solar cars. Nuna5 is ready for the team’s 5th title!

As the Nuon Solar Team has won 4 prior editions, their competitors will be putting every effort in beating them in this challenge. At first glance it seems that the Nuna5 is a further development of proven technology as could be found in its predecessor Nuna4

Twente University Solar Car Team
Twente University Solar Car Team Solar Team Twente will probably be one of the closest competitors of the Nuon Solar Car Team. Here is a video animation of it’s 2009 solar car:

They have refined two innovations of their former model: The cantilever wing design that enables them to turn the wing with solar cells to the sun and the Fresnel lenses to get more sun rays on the solar cells.

Some WSC History
To me it seems very odd that the “Official WSC Site” gives hardly any information about the 2009 edition.


The event evolved from an experiment by Danish-born adventurer Hans Tholstrup who, sponsored by BP, designed the world’s first solar car, called Quiet Achiever, in which he completed the BP Solar Trek, traversing the 4052 km (2,518 miles) between Sydney and Perth in 20 days. That was the precursor of the World Solar Challenge originally held every three years to one held every two years.

After the 4th race Hans Tholstrup sold the rights to the state of South Australia (source World Solar Challenge Wiki).

Results from the former editions:

  1. 1987
    1st Place General Motors “Sunraycer” (USA) average speed 66.9 Km/h
    2nd Place Ford Australia “Sunchaser” (AUS) average speed 44.48 Km/h
    3rd Place Biel College of Engineering (CH) average speed 42.93 Km/h
  2. 1990
    1st Place Biel College of Engineering (CH) average speed 65.18 Km/h
    2nd Place Honda “Dream” (Japan) average speed 54.67 Km/h
    3rd Place University of Michigan (USA) average Speed 52.53 Km/h
  3. 1993
    1st Place Honda “Dream” (Japan) average Speed 84.96 Km/h
    2nd Place Biel College of Engineering (CH) average speed 78.27 Km/h
    3rd Place Kyocera “Son of Sun” (Japan) average speed 70.76 Km/h
  4. 1996
    1st Place Honda “Dream II” (Japan) average speed 89.76 Km/h
    2nd Place United High Schools of Biel (CH) average speed 86 Km/h
    3rd Place Aisin Seiki “Aisol III” average speed 80.7 Km/h
  5. 1999
    1st Place Aurora “Aurora 101” (AUS) average speed 72.96 Km/h
    2nd Place Queens university “Radiance” (CAN) average speed 72.17 Km/h
    3rd Place University of Queensland “Sunshark” (AUS) average speed 71.68 Km/h
  6. 2001
    1st Place Nuna “Alpha Centauri” (NL) average speed 91.81 Km/h
    2nd Place Aurora “Aurora 101” (AUS) average speed 90.26 Km/h
    3rd Place University of Michigan (USA) average speed average speed 87.37 Km/h
  7. 2003
    1st Place Nuon “Nuna II” (NL) average speed 97.02 Km/h
    2nd Place Aurora “Aurora 101” (AUS) average speed 91.90 Km/h
    3rd Place MIT “Tesseract” (USA) average speed 90.20 Km/h
  8. 2005
    1st Place Nuon “Nuna III” (NL) average speed 102.75 Km/h
    2nd Place Aurora “Aurora 101” (AUS) average speed 92.03 Km/h
    3rd Place University of Michigan “Momentum” (USA) average speed 90.03 Km/h
  9. 2007 (NB lower average speeds due to 25% smaller solar panels)
    1st Place Nuon “Nuna 4” (NL) average speed 90.87 Km/h
    2nd Place Umicore “Umicar Infinity” (Belgium) average speed 88.05 Km/h
    3rd Place Aurora “Aurora 101” (Australia) average speed 85 Km/h

A New Name: Global Green Challenge:
Ah….It turns out there is a new site and a new name on the block which gives much more information: The Global Green Challenge. Apparently the event has evolved. This is the new logo:

Global Green Challenge Logo

Here is their list of 2009 participants

Some links for future reference:
German Team Bochum Hochschule will compete with a more car alike 4 wheel solar car
Belgian Umicore Solar Car Team will unveil their new car August 1, 2009
The Wiki List of Solar Car Teams was handy for researching this post.

A general Solar Cars site.

I believe that all parties involved have a task in bettering their communication. Teams involved communicate in their local languages and there are many loose ends.

Designboom weblog, design related news, reviews and previews

Trying to collect news via the Quickpost WordPress plugin…but the built in Press it Plugin would bring a better result for this post…darn am I a slow two finger typist. But I want to make this point: I believe Joern Utzon was the ultimate prove that one well designed building can change the future of a city as a brand It can add clout to a city. Everybody who sees this photo will immediately think: “Sydney Opera House”. It has embedded the city in collective memory. May Joern rest in peace…

danish architect joern utzon who designed the sydney opera house died yesterday from a heart attack aged 90. considered to be one of the great architects of the 20th century, utzon designed private homes in his early career before he drew up the opera house in 1957, which later became one of the most iconic landmarks in sydney, australia. utzon received the pritzker prize for architecture in 2003 for his design.

designboom weblog, design related news, reviews and previews

Dutch Design (22): Dutch Solar Car Nuna4 has won the Australian World Solar Challenge

I Love Nuna4

Unofficially, according to a comment on its Blog, confirmed by a post on the official WSC Blog, Dutch Nuna4 has won the World Solar Challenge.

They arrived at Port Augusta at 16.54 hr local time, just 6 minutes before closing time of the control and finished the official timed stretch of the race. The Port Augusta to Adelaide (where the official finish is) leg seems not to count as a timed part of the race, as the leg has too much traffic and racing would be too dangerous.

The Nuon sponsored Delft Technical University Team rules the waves (err the sun rays) as this is the fourth consecutive win on a row of this biannual challenge.

Apparently they did not beat the team’s prior average speed record, because they met more clouds and rain under way.

Now I am curious if they will consider competing in a solar car race in the United States of America, for instance the 2008 American Solar Challenge, a 2400 mile race from Dallas, Texas to Calgary, Alberta.

To be updated.

Update 1) It seems the servers of the various sites are groaning under heavy traffic……

Dutch Design (21): Solar Car Nuna4 in the Lead of Australian World Solar Challenge

Solar Challenge

With this magnificent photo that I pinched from the Panasonic World Solar Challenge site today, I’ll give you a short update after 3 days of racing and a rest day in Alice Springs:

  1. Nuna4 of the Nuon Solar Team (Delft, Netherlands) with 756 km to go to the finish in Adelaide
  2. Umicore Solar Team (Belgium) roughly 82 km (60 minutes) behind Nuna4
  3. Aurora Vehicle Association Team (Australia), 90 minutes behind Nuna4
  4. FH Bochum Solar Car Team (Germany)

It is a pity that the organization is so scarce with giving proper information. I believe there is a lot of interest for multimedia coverage of this race, but alas not much to be found…..For instance in the Volvo Ocean sailing races and in the America’s Cup match sailing races we can follow the races in real time in our armchair behind the computer while each competitor has a camera and a GPS tracking device mounted on their yachts. Same is the case with the World Rally Championships.

Very sadly the US competitor of the University of Michigan, the Continuum of UM Solar Car Team, due to an accident are way, 11 hours and 24 minutes according to their Blog, behind Nuna4, but they seem to gain now.

The Independent: Five best Factory Hotels

Thanks to the UK Independent we now know their five best Factory Hotels:

  • The
    Alicia Room Mate Hotel Front
    Alicia Room Mate Hotel in Madrid, Spain.

    The Room Mate history is this:

    3 friends, Kike, Carlos and Gorka, having drinks mentioned how there weren’t any hotels in Madrid that would satisfy their needs and those of their friends. So they started wondering what kind of hotel they’d like to stay at if they were going to a city like Madrid or Paris.

    They came to the conclusion that there should be one in the heart of the center, with an original decoration and a reasonable price, not saturated with extras and services that are seldom used and with a natural personal feel. Because the only thing you really need while “exploring” a city is a good breakfast.
    So they opened their first hotel, Room Mate Mario in the center of Madrid next to the “Teatro Real”.

    Impressed by the enthusiasm showed by their clients and the media they decided to start a chain of hotels and urban apartments.

    Apparently there are four friends now operating Room Mate Hotels:

    Enrique Sarasola comes from a family constantly linked to the large business world. Carlos Marrero derives from a restoration family business in the Canary Islands. Eduardo Sanzol represents the Sanzol family, important promoters from Navarra, and Gorka Atorrasagasti. who is from Donostia (Basque Country) and has directed entertainment/nightlife events for years.

    The Independent:

    Housed in an early 20th-century shoe factory, it has 34 bright, contemporary bedrooms overlooking the Plaza Santa Ana, and is a stroll away from the Prado and Reina Sofía.

  • The
    Bratsera Logo
    Bratsera Hotel on the Greek Hydra Island.

    The funny thing with this old logo is that it denominates the old sponge export business as N.V. Verveniotis which is a typical Dutch language abbreviation for publicly held a limited liability corporation as they still exist in The Netherlands and in Belgium.

    The Independent:

    Situated on the idyllic, car-free island of Hydra, the Bratsera began life in 1860 as a sponge factory, cleaning and pressing sponge from the Mediterranean for shipping. But as plastic became cheaper, the industry went into decline, and current proprietor Christine Davros decided to diversify into hospitality. After an extensive renovation, the Bratsera emerged as a chic boutique hotel, with 28 individually designed rooms, an outdoor pool and a wisteria-draped courtyard restaurant serving Greek cuisine.

  • The

    Nhow Milano
    Nhow Milano belonging to NH Hoteles.

    The Independent:

    The work of designer Matteo Thun and architect Daniele Beretta, the Nhow Hotel has come a long way from its beginnings as the General Electric powerplant on Milan’s Via Tortona. Built in 1935 and restored last year, the hotel is in the heart of the trendy “Zona Tortona” – the canal-side district that was once a centre of heavy industry and is now an artists’ quarter, home to studios, galleries, bars and shops.

  • The
    Tea Factory Hotel
    Tea Factory Hotel in Sri Lanka

    The Independent:

    Rising out of the mist on a hilltop in Sri Lanka’s highlands, the imposing Tea Factory Hotel once produced some of the finest pure Ceylon tea in the world. Built during the British Raj in the 1930s, it was later rescued from dereliction in 1992 and converted into a luxury hotel. The 57 colonial-style rooms are housed in the old withering lofts, with views over the tea hills; a bar occupies the one-time packing area; a restored railway carriage is now a restaurant.

  • The
    Henry Jones Art Hotel
    Henry Jones Art Hotel Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

    The Independent:

    One of Tasmania’s most famous residents, the entrepreneurial Henry Jones went from label-paster to head of his own jam-making empire – and the largest private company in the world at the time. His IXL jam works – a row of Georgian buildings lining Hobart’s waterfront – now comprise an award-winning hotel, bar and restaurant, as well as a regularly changing display of more than 250 works of art. Designed by local architect Robert Morris-Nunn, the 50 open-plan rooms are gritty and modern, echoing Hobart’s colonial trading links with Indo-China (ottomans and silk eiderdowns) as well as the factory’s past (exposed brickwork, refurbished machinery and wood panelling).

Oops another five for my want to visit list……