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The Nuon Solar Team starts catching up in South African mountain

Posted on 27-09-2018

The Dutch team wants to overtake their Japanese opponent by using their newest innovation in the last three racing days

Port Elizabeth, 27th of September – The Nuon Solar Team started catching up with their Japanese opponent Tokai. Starting today, the sixth racing day of the Sasol solar Chellenge, the Dutch team is using their ‘Intelligent Cruise Control’ in the South African mountain range. Last Tuesday the solar racing team lost the lead after a series of setbacks. The last three racing days are promising to become a clash of the Titans between the Dutch and Japanese team. The question is if the Nuon Solar Team is able to overtake the Japanese. Saturday is the finish of the international solar car race.

“Last days were very intense because of the problems we faced with our electrical system. We worked night and day to get our car back on track in optima forma”, says Martijn Hoogelander (22), electrical engineer and driver. “The problems are solved, but it will still be tense. The weather in South Africa is very unpredictable, therefore we constantly need to adjust our strategy. After endless flats we now enter the mountain range. Here we can use our newest innovation in our strategy: Intelligent Cruise Control”, Martijn continues.

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Description: The Nuon Solar Team wants catch up in the South African mountain range. Foto by Hans-Peter van Velthoven.

Intelligent Cruise Control

The students from Delft are relying on their Intelligent Cruise Control in the mountains to have an advantage on the Japanese. Thanks to this system Nuna9S, the solar car of the Nuon Solar Team, is able to drive as sustainable and efficient as possible. Moreover they even take the mountains and traffic into account. In South Africa that is very important, because of the different conditions the solar car has to endure. “Our solar car is able to scan her surroundings with a build in radar. Nuna can see upcoming mountains and can respond by adjust her settings and speed autonomously. The car does this even before the driver notices the mountain” says Rintati Roza (22), technical manager.

Still confident despite setbacks

During the first day of the Challenge, last Saturday, the solar car skidded. That same evening the team was surprised by extreme weather that blew the whole camp away. Despite the setbacks the Nuon Solar Team was able to finish in first place the following day. Unfortunately the Dutch team lost their lead as a result of technical difficulties on Tuesday. Wednesday, when the technical problems were solved, the students from Delft started the day confident and could make up some of the lost time on the Japanese. Tokai has still driven more kilometres than the Dutch. During the Sasol Solar Challenge the goals is to drive as many kilometres as possible within the given time. This Saturday the last mountainous stage will take place and that will decide if the Dutch can prolongate their title.

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