An international team of students from Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the University of Twente in the Netherlands is making last minute adjustments to their solar car at Charles Darwin University (CDU) ahead of the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge in a matter of days.
Based in the Dutch town of Enschede, Solar Team Twente have made a trades workshop at CDU their base for the last month to prepare their version of the most efficient solar car for the 3,021 kilometre challenge from Darwin to Adelaide – running on solar energy alone.
Solar Team Twente Technical Manager Tim Woertman said the team are intensely working on the last few changes to their solar car, in preparation for the start of the journey on Sunday, 22 October at State Square, Parliament House Darwin.
“The workspace is a hive of activity right now, with everyone dedicated to their role in ensuring this car is the most efficient it can be,” Mr Woertman said.
“We have prepared our car and team for several solar car races at CDU. Due to the constantly changing regulations, all teams are challenged each edition to come up with new innovations, and these innovations eventually contribute to the global sustainability of the mobility sector.
“We are grateful to CDU and its staff for their hospitality and help!”
The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the world's largest solar challenge and takes place every two years in Australia – the team have participated in the global challenge since 2005 and finished fifth place in 2017, and second in 2015.
RED X is the tenth solar car built by Solar Team Twente. Designed and constructed over 10 months, the bullet-shaped car has three wheels, four square metres of solar panels, and weighs only 140 kilograms.
At five metres long and 1.2 metres wide, the aerodynamic design ensures the car has a similar air resistance as a bottle of Coke, and it also has a top speed of 130 kilometres per hour.
Solar Team Twente Journey Lead Kirsten Bouwman said the team are looking forward to competing and have high hopes of taking home the trophy.
“At the start in Darwin there are usually about 38 teams from all over the world,” Ms Bouwman said.
“We are competing in the Challenger Class, and hope to be the first over the finish line in Adelaide!”
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