Solar Team Twente unveiled the design of the new solar car on Thursday. The car is asymmetric. The driver no longer sits in the middle, but on the right side of the solar car. With this new design, it is possible to capture more sunlight than during previous races. This is because a shadow only falls on the solar panel once a day. The car weighs the same as the previous solar car, The RED Engine. The design was unveiled during the ‘Bring Design To Life’ event, which attracted some 250 visitors.
During the ‘Bring Design To Life’ event, the new design was unveiled on a large screen, powered by energy generated by spinning bicycles on which those in attendance cycled their lungs out. Team leader Irene van den Hof: “With this design, our excellent team and everyone supporting us, we will realize our dream in October: winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia.”
MAJOR IMPLICATIONS OF AN ASYMMETRIC DESIGN
“In addition to gathering more sunlight, the asymmetric design has major implications for the contribution made by other engineering disciplines”, explains Robin Haandrikman, technical manager of Solar Team Twente. “We have, for example, had to look differently at the structural design and the electronics. Despite the many innovations, we have managed to keep the weight of the solar car almost the same as that of The RED Engine. During the World Solar Challenge in 2013 that car was the lightest of all participating solar cars.” The new solar car has the air resistance of a sheet of A5 paper.
In the last two editions of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the team focused on keeping the energy expenditure of the solar car, such as aerodynamics and rolling resistance, as low as possible. With the knowledge gained during these editions in mind, Solar Team Twente this year concentrated all attention on the perfect combination of energy revenue and expenditure. Together with the technical knowledge and the best materials from the partners, Solar Team Twente hopes to produce the fastest solar car in the world.
SCIENCE QUIZ ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES USED IN THE SOLAR CAR
During an interactive science quiz, hosted by cabaret artist Jeffrey Spalburg, visitors gained an insight into the world of design on Thursday. By means of playful experiments, lecturers and professors from Saxion and the University of Twente explained technologies related to the solar car. Solar Team Twente thereby demonstrated what is involved in the building a solar car. At the end of the science quiz, the attendees got to see the new design of the solar car.
SOLAR TEAM TWENTE
Solar Team Twente comprises nineteen students from Saxion and the University of Twente. They make their dream come true: winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2015. Besides the students, Solar Team Twente consists of the strong network of innovative partners. Together they practice top-class sport and are building the fastest solar car.