This solar race is held every two years, covering 3000 km through the Australian outback, from Darwin to Adelaide. For this year’s edition, the organisation committee has significantly adjusted the regulations. An important change is the reduction of solar surface from 6 m2 to 4 m2.
“With the Nuna9 design we are making a major step in solar racing,” explains Jasper Hemmes, who is responsible for aerodynamics. “The changing rules made us reconsider the entire design of the car, which resulted in a unique compact shape with excellent aerodynamic performance. To give you an idea, the overall air resistance is pretty close to the resistance of a single side mirror in a Tesla car.”
The Nuna9 vehicle was constructed at the Polymer Science Park in Zwolle, the Netherlands, next to the Aliancys R&D Centre.
“Aliancys supported the Nuon Solar Team with innovative composites application technology, and provided hands-on support in manufacturing,” reports Paul Vercoulen, CTO of Aliancys. “The construction is stiffer, stronger and lighter compared to previous Nuna versions, which means a faster, safer and more energy efficient car.”
Nuna9 was manufactured using Beyone styrene-free resin systems. These sustainable resins feature close-to-zero smell and solvent emissions, and are environmentally preferred alternatives to conventional styrene-based resin systems, reports Aliancys. The result is a vehicle that is said to combine low weight, great aerodynamics, and dimensional stability at elevated temperatures.
“The structure and design of Nuna9 are truly revolutionary, and we prefer to not give our competitors too many bright ideas,” says Sander Koot, Leader of the Nuon Solar Team. “In the last few editions of the World Solar Challenge, the competition keeps getting closer. We are proud to see that some of the innovations we have introduced in earlier Nuna vehicles can be seen back in cars from our competitors. The exact details on the inside of the car we keep to ourselves, as also this year we are eager to bring home the first prize.”
Nuna9 is the ninth solar vehicle built by the Nuon Solar Team. Key characteristics of the current car include:
- 135 kg of vehicle weight;
- 3% less surface;
- 64 m2 solar panel surface area;
- 20 kg battery weight.
The Nuon Solar Team has won World Solar Challenge six times, including the last edition in 2015. The team consist of 16 students from Delft University of Technology.