24 September 2016 – Today was the official start of the SASOL Solar Challenge in Pretoria, South Africa. The Nuon Solar Team will defend their world title in this exciting solar challenge through the African landscape. After a nerve-racking first race, the team is doing very well.
Early this morning, the Nuon Solar Team took off from Pretoria for the first stage to their destination Johannesburg. During this stage, Nuna will drive over the main highways of South Africa, through busy traffic. The team encountered a traffic jam and had to pass numerous trucks. Passing these trucks is very dangerous for Nuna, because of the suction that is created. The team members have succeeded in getting the solar car to the end destination safely and they are very satisfied with their results.
Deciding strategy with data
Racing on just the energy of the sun is more than getting to the finish line as fast as possible. The students of Delft University of Technology have to make numerous difficult decisions. They decide upon all the data they collect. Among the convoy surrounding Nuna, there is a special car from sponsor Weerplaza, which collects all the weather data. The team also collected data of the route. Combining these data, the strategist of the team, Christel Prins, calculates the ideal speed of Nuna again every three minutes. This way, the team will store extra energy when the sun shines, to drive faster through a clouded area.
Photo by: Hans-Peter van Veldhoven