Issue 16
Monday, 25 September 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Solar Team Twente teammates Gearte Nynke Noteboom (right), Jan Lenssen and Menno Sytsma get down to work. Picture: Julianne Osborne
Solar Team Twente teammates Gearte Nynke Noteboom (right), Jan Lenssen and Menno Sytsma get down to work. Picture: Julianne Osborne

Hot competition in build-up to Outback race

By Ellie Turner

A team of Dutch university students is determined to win a 3000km international solar car race through the Outback.

Solar Team Twente is one of five international teams, including others from Germany, South Africa and Colombia, based at Casuarina campus ahead of the biennial World Solar Challenge.

Engineering student Gearte Nynke Noteboom said her team, from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, led the Darwin-to-Adelaide race most of the way in 2015 but another Dutch team, from Delft University of Technology, beat them by eight minutes. 

“We are really motivated to come first this year because we were so close last time,” Nynke said.

The 19 students comprising this year’s Team Twente secured work space in Metal Trades at Casuarina campus to fine-tune a 135kg solar-powered vehicle named “RED Shift”, which is the university’s smallest car since it began competing in the race in 2005.

“With the help of our history-based solar cell model, which stores information from previous editions, we have found the optimum balance between electronics and aerodynamics,” Nynke said.

Metal Trades team leader Rohan Badenhop said hosting solar car teams was an opportunity for CDU to collaborate with universities worldwide and develop sustainable energy teaching and learning capabilities. 

The week-long World Solar Challenge will begin in Darwin on Sunday, 8 October.