22 September 2016 – Today, the Nuon Solar Team drove the qualification for the longest Solar Challenge in the World, the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa. The team lapped in 2 minutes and 8.97 seconds: a track record for Nuna. During the qualification, the driver wore a Google Glass, which helped him to decide the ideal racing line.
Coming Saturday, the Nuon Solar Team will start the SASOL Solar Challenge. After a year of redesigning and remodeling, they completed their last step towards the race: the qualification. The team is very happy with their results: “Thanks to our good lap time, we can start early this Saturday. This means that we will have to spend less energy on overtaking the competing solar cars” explains Technical Manager Bo Salet.
De driver, Wouter Grimme, wore a Google Glass for the first time ever during a qualification. The Google Glass was provided by Deloitte. Using 3D-motiontracking from partner Xsens, the Nuon Solar Team could calculate the forces on the solar car directly. The driver was able to see the data, which enabled him to see how far he could push Nuna without damaging her. As for our new solar panel, the use of the Google Glass has been kept secret from the completion until the last moment.
Nuna is built to drive on long and straight roads, whereas the qualification is driven on a circuit with sharp turns. Wouter Grimme explains: “During the qualification it is important that we don’t damage the car. In the end we want to win the race, for which we of course need a complete Nuna.” The Nuon Solar Team sees the Japanese team from Tokai University as their biggest competitors. This team finished their qualification lap in just 1 minute and 54.27 seconds. However, the students of Delft University of Technology are not worried: “Last Tuesday we presented our newest solar panel. The Japanese were very impressed, so we are confident we can overtake them during the race,” says Grimme.
SASOL Solar Challenge SA
On the 24th of September the SASOL Solar Challenge will start: an eight day solar race from Pretoria to Cape Town. The Nuon Solar Team is entering with an upgraded version of solar car Nuna8, with which they became world champions last year in Australia: Nuna8s. The challenge is to drive more kilometers than the other teams. The team of Delft University of Technology set its goal at 4500 kilometers.
Since 2001 the Nuon Solar Team won the world title in Australia in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge a stunning six times and the SASOL Solar Challenge once.
With the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa they hope to test their secret weapons to lay a foundation for another world title in Australia. It is their goal to add a new chapter to the history of the Nuon Solar Team by winning the SASOL Solar Challenge again and to advance the development of their sustainable technologies.