On Friday Solar Team Twente presented the new solar car: the Red One. With this solar car, Solar Team Twente aims to fulfill its dream: victory in October during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. The unveiling took place during the busy first edition of the Out of the Box Festival at Enschede Airport Twente.
In recent months the Twente solar team has literally been working day and night on the design, testing and construction of the Red One, which will hopefully bring the world title to Twente in October. The body of the red car was built at Fokker Aerostructures in Hoogeveen and the final touches to the coating were made this week. The result is amazing.
The 149-kilogramme Red One is Solar Team Twente’s first asymmetric solar car. This increases the amount of solar energy that can be captured. Compared to the previous model, the shadow of the cockpit now only falls on the panel once a day. Less shadow means more solar capture and this in turn means a faster race. The new car captures 5% more energy than its predecessor The RED Engine. The Red One uses as much energy as team leader Irene van den Hof’s hair drier and its air resistance is the same as the wing mirror of a Ford Transit.
The new solar car is constructed from high tech materials, such as wheel rims made from aircraft aluminum and a Textreme carbon body from supplier TenCate. The car has an engine efficiency of 98% (in comparison: a fuel engine has an efficiency of 25%) and is not only clean but also extremely economical. The extremely light and dirt-repellent surface layer of the Red One’s coating is the same as that of wind generators.
Confidence in the world title
“We chose the name Red One because we are the red, Twente team, and we are of course aiming for the first place”, says team leader Irene van den Hof. “In 2009 we were 8th, in 2011 5th, in 2013 3rd and so in 2015…“ Van den Hof has a lot of confidence in victory in Australia. “During the last two editions, the focus was on the solar car’s lowest possible energy expenditure, such as aerodynamics and rolling resistance. In 2013 we appeared at the start with the lightest car. Now, however, we are focusing on the perfect combination of income and expenditure. With all the knowledge from the past, we know what it takes to be world champion.”
Scoop: Out of the Box Festival including Twente Soapbox Race
The unveiling of the Red One took place at the first edition of the Out of the Box Festival at the Enschede Airport Twente event location. Special classic cars, vintage cars, hybrids and electric cars were exhibited at the festival. There was music, food stalls, and picnics, and the first edition of the Twente Soapbox Race took place. More than twenty school teams competed against one another with a self-built soapbox during schools class of this soapbox race. This marked the end of the schools project that was established by Solar Team Twente and Green Team Twente in collaboration with maxon motor benelux.
Solar Team Twente also announced the four drivers. Lars van der Aa, Coen Hartjes, Timothy Teoh and Wouter Put will drive the Red One during the 3,000-kilometre race across Australia. A tough job. It can reach 50° C in the Red One and the drivers often drive for four consecutive hours. The drivers are trained in cooperation with the Centrum voor Mens en Luchtvaart under extreme conditions and in stressful situations. F16 fighter pilots are also trained here.
Solar Team Twente
Solar Team Twente consists of nineteen students from Saxion and the University of Twente. They are making their dream come true: winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2015! Solar Team Twente is competing in the Challenger Class. The solar cars in this class are designed for efficiency. The winner of the Challenger Class is the team that first completes the route with the solar car in accordance with the regulations. In addition to the students, Solar Team Twente comprises a powerful network of more than 100 innovative partners. Together they practice top-class sport and are building the fastest solar car.