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Northern Knowledge window for Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019

Reality or Utopia?
28 May 2018

One year ago, students of University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Hanze UAS), were making the headlines in the media by announcing to participate together in the prestigious Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019 edition in Australia. The World Solar Challenge is a biennial solar-powered car race which covers 3,022 km through from Darwin to Adelaide. The objective of this competition is to promote research on solar-powered cars. 12 months later the Groningen solar-powered Racing project website and social media are offline. Is the project cancelled?

Jeroen Brattinga
Jeroen Brattinga

‘On the contrary, we are alive and kicking!’, stresses Jeroen Brattinga, Team-manager of World Solar Racing project. ‘Last April, at King’s Day, we presented our first working prototype of the solar-powered car to the Royal Family. They were very enthousiastic about the prototype and praised our multidisciplinary and educational collaboration at various levels.’

‘On the other hand, you are correct as well,’ admits Brattinga, student Electronics at Hanze UAS. ‘Recently, Groningen World Solar Racing project has been renamed into Top Dutch Solar Racing. And along with changing identity, we introduced a new website. Why? Because this energy transition initiative covers all north of the Netherlands region.’

King Willem Alexander at the World Solar Racing project on King's Day
King Willem Alexander at the World Solar Racing project on King's Day

Making progress

In a few weeks time, the first prototype of the solar-powered car will be tested at TT Circuit Assen. Students Mechanical Engineering from Hanze UAS have been developing the first car rim of composite materials. The test results will be used to develop the final solar-powered car later this year.

A decisive moment where the University of Groningen comes in. Brattinga: ‘June 8th, Top Dutch Solar Racing team will be meeting a delegation of UG researchers, including Prof Ben Feringa, who are eager to support us with the latest knowledge making the Groningen prototype a first prize claiming solar-powered car. We are really en route!’.

Top Dutch Solar Racing team
Top Dutch Solar Racing team

The World Solar Challenge will take place October 2019 in Australia. Team manager Jeroen Brattinga of Top Dutch Solar Racing will give regurarly updates in Catching Innovation Northern Knowledge newsletter on the path to Adelaide. Stay tuned!

Northern Knowledge

Northern Knowledge is the open innovation platform of University of Groningen, UMCG, and Hanze University for Applied Sciences

Last modified:29 May 2018 11.19 a.m.

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