Solar Team Twente has unveiled the design of their new solar car.
The amended regulations of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia ensured that the team had a wonderful new challenge over the last six months. The name of the solar car was also revealed: Red Shift.
“With a number of important design innovations I believe we have a great shot at winning the world championship in Australia”, says Olivier Berghuis, team leader of Solar Team Twente.
The biggest change in the design compared to Red One, the solar car that came in second during the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, is that the car has been made narrower by half a metre. This change stems from the revised regulations. The maximum surface area of the solar panel was reduced from 6m² to 4m².
The team expects the benefits to be small but significant. Lots of details in the design each contribute to a reduction in air resistance. “Through the continuous process of calculating, analysing and making improvements, we have created a very strong aerodynamic design”, explains designer Jeroen Minnema, who was responsible for designing the car’s aerodynamic shape. The main wing has been placed a little to the front of the car compared to the location of the wheels. In addition, the number of hubcaps has been reduced from three to two.
With a number of technical surprises, the team expects to stay ahead of the competition. These details will be announced at a later date. “It is strange to realize that this is only the design of the car’s shape. The car has a variety of wonderful electronic, mechanic and structural systems that can make a difference during the race”, says team leader Olivier Berghuis at the presentation of the design.
Solar Team Twente also announced that the new car will be called ‘Red Shift’. “The name (roodverschuiving in Dutch) symbolizes the shift from one era to the next, that we hope to bring about. It is our ambition to contribute to a liveable planet where fossil fuels are replaced by renewable systems”, explains communications manager Gearte Nynke Noteboom. The name was picked from lots of entries in the NameOurCar contest, in which the Twente team of students gave its fans the unique opportunity of contributing to the new solar car. Lourens Lenssen from Oosterwolde came up with the name and has won a special ride in the vehicle.
On 8 October 2017, Solar Team Twente will be at the start of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the most prestigious race for cars that run on solar energy. Together with more than fifty other international contestants, Solar Team Twente’s solar car will travel 3000 kilometres through the Australian outback. The race has four different classes. The Twente solar team will be in the Challenger Class, the Formula 1 class for solar cars.
Solar Team Twente consists of nineteen students from Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the University of Twente. They are making their dreams come true: winning the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in October 2017. In addition to the students, Solar Team Twente consists of a strong network of innovative partners. Together, they are achieving the impossible, building the world’s fastest solar car.