Last June, researchers from the University of Groningen and the TopDutch Solar racing team consisting of students of Hanze University of Applied Scien-ces, University of Groningen and Secondary and vocational education (Dutch: MBO) met at Entrance to discuss cooperation. October 2019, the student team will be taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia for the first time. The Challenge welcomes the greatest minds from around the world to Australia to push the limits of technological innovation and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the energy of the sun.
Prof Kees Hummelen, Materials Science, UG, attended the brainstorm session at Zernike Campus. Kees: 'I’m monitoring the TopDutch Solar Racing project from the kick-off, one year ago. The World Solar Racing initiative is promoting the North of the Netherlands as lead region in energy transition innovation.’
The Entrance brainstorming session focused on developing the optimal sun deck of the solar-powered car. Solar cars run only by power from the sun. The solar radiation is collected on solar panels. The photovoltaic cells on the solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. For the design of the sun deck of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge racing car Hummelen prefers the use of lead-based solar cells of perovskite material. Kees: 'Perovskite-solar cells are very efficient and thin and thus an important link in the development of speed. But the perovskite-solar cell are hardly sufficiently developed yet, let alone available.’ What next!!
Prof. Kees Hummelen maintains a profound silence. He wants to make the other competitors of the race no wiser. They already have a slight advantage in the competition. Kees: 'Delft University of Technology for instance has wind tunnel facilities to help understand and improve the optimization of aerodyna-mic flows of the solar-powered car. We have no such state-of-the-art-facility at our disposal.'
To be able to make use of advanced state-of-the-art-facilities as well, Hummelen suggests to host the TopDutch Solar Racing initiative under the Dutch National Science Agenda. NWA invests in innovative and socially relevant research through exemplary routes. The routes include research into finding solutions for earth, climate, energy and bio-environment challenges.
Last month the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) launched the first NWA funding round encouraging broad-based multidisciplinary consortia to submit research proposals. Kees: ‘This energy transition project delivers socially relevant research linking research and education to parties in society and to the business community.’
Last June, the prototype of the car showed some promising test results at the TT Circuit in Assen. Results that give hope claiming a good result next year in the 3,000km race from Darwin to Adelaide. Hummelen: ‘TopDutch Solar Racing project provides a multi-disciplinary team of advanced knowledge and industry participation to provide answers to all challenges. The secret of claiming a good result is reflected in the sum of its parts.’
Are you interested in partnering with TopDutch Solar Racing team? Feel welcome to contact Jeroen Brattinga, team manager via TopDutch Solar Racing website.
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