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Nuon Solar Team has wind at its back at Bridgestone World Solar

Posted on 10-10-2017

Team profits of aerodynamic design and increases its lead

The Nuon Solar Team is proudly leading the challenger class at the Bridgestone World Solar
Challenge. The team increased its lead to 56 minutes compared to the runner-up Michigan. The team
benefits from their aerodynamic and compact design, especially on this windy day. The strategy team
has, moreover, enabled them to maximize their energy income by avoiding the clouded areas.


The weather forecast was bad this morning, at the third day of the Bridgestone World Solar
Challenge. Strategy analyst Stijn Burger feared that heavy clouds would have a significant, adverse
effect on the energy income today. “Luckily, it was not as bad as expected”, he says relieved. “Fate
was on our side. As the skies suddenly cleared after fifteen minutes, we were able to boost our
speed. Thanks to our great meteo-team and the data they provide us with, we were able to avoid the
clouded areas as much as possible.



Compact car: advantageous in windy conditions
Although the energy harvesting was all set when the skies cleared, it was still difficult to drive due to
the hard winds. Nonetheless, this worked in the team’s favour as well. Thanks to Nuna9’s
aerodynamic design, they were able to extend their lead. Aerodynamics specialist Jasper Albert
explains: “We deliberately made the design of our solar car as compact as possible. Nuna9 is the
smallest and lightest car of the competitions; and has the most favourable aerodynamic
performance. The windy conditions underlined the importance of the compact aerodynamic design
of our racing machine. This combined with the efficiency of our solar cells enabled us to increase our
lead today.” Nuna9 has a comparable aerodynamic drag as the sidemirror of a Tesla car.

Road Trains
The large number of road trains – long-truck combinations with multiple trailers – make the racing
route dangerous at some locations. Race driver Sharon van Luik explains: “Today was my first
experience of being passed by a road train. The truck created a suction which pulled me towards the
berm. I really had to steer into the skid. That was a very tense moment.”

Battle for the runner-up position
Far behind Nuna9, the teams from Michigan (U.S.A.), Tokai (Japan) and Twente (Netherlands) are
fighting for the runner-up position. That position is currently taken by Michigan. The Nuon Solar
Team has a lead of 52 minutes, but the team stays focussed. “We are focussing on our own race and
strategy”, says team manager Sander Koot.

Control Stop
The control stops demonstrate the Nuon Solar Team’s great teamwork, which makes a difference as
well. This difference is less significant than in previous years, because the new regulations do not
allow the team to touch their solar car. The race driver is the only one allowed to lift the panel.”


Race update after 1.766 km (control stop Kulgera)
Racing day 3 – Tuesday, 10 October 2017

1. Nuon Solar Team (Netherlands) 14:53:06
2. Michigan (USA) + 00:56:03
3. Twente (Netherlands) + 01:12:16
4. Tokai (Japan) + 01:22:08
5. Punch (Belgium) + 01:30:24

Travelled distance by Nuna9 on day 3: 647 km
Total distance travelled by Nuna9 after 2 days: 1.914 km

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