Three student teams from Delft, Twente and Groningen are participating this year in the Solar Challenge Morocco, a prestigious competition with solar cars through the Moroccan desert.
These are the Dutch vehicles that will cover 2,500 kilometers in five days from Monday.
Vattenfall Solar Team - Nuna11
A group of seventeen TU Delft students have designed an asymmetrical tricycle.
The university has already won the World Solar Challenge seven times before, which was previously held in Australia.
Due to the corona virus, the competition will take place in Morocco this year.
Racing through the desert brings new challenges, team member Steven Mitchell Tan tells NU.nl.
"In Australia it was one long road, in Morocco you have villages, mountains and the desert. That is why we made our own motor controller this year. This allows us to reach steep slopes of 11 percent and accelerate faster."
The solar car can reach a top speed of 135 kilometers per hour, but will reach a maximum speed of 80 to 90 kilometers per hour during the race.
"We have to obey the traffic rules. We also want to drive as efficiently as possible. We tilted the solar panel 3 degrees, so that we
in strong crosswinds
. This means that the car is pressed harder against the ground, so you get more have a grip."
Solar Team Twente - RED Horizon
Students from the University of Twente and Saxion University of Applied Sciences have also opted for a three-wheeled solar car.
"We believe that a solar car with three wheels is faster than one with four wheels. It not only saves weight, but also rolling and air resistance," says team member Mark van Eijk.
The group of eighteen students started devising the solar car in August last year.
Almost all of them had just completed their bachelor's degree or were taking a gap year.
Just like the other teams, because building such a vehicle is a full-time job.
When the students heard in May that the race would be held in Morocco this year, they had to switch gears.
"By that time, the design of the car was already finished, so we couldn't change that anymore. We did add a cooling system to our homemade electric motor, because otherwise it can get too hot due to the many mountains in the country."
Top Dutch Solar Racing - Green Spirit
The 22 students from the University of Groningen, Hanze University Groningen, Noorderpoort and ROC Friese Poort are the only Dutch team to design a solar car on four wheels.
"We think that gives us more stability. That's important, because you have to drive a lot in the mountains. There are a lot of corners," says team member Jamie Jankowsky.
Just like the Delft team, the Groningen students have made their own motor controller.
"We developed about 85 percent of our electromechanics ourselves. We also built the braking and steering system, the electric motor and the battery ourselves. We are proud of that."
What is special is that MBO students are also part of the team.
"Other teams don't have that, they only consist of HBO and WO students."
Several students also do an internship with the team for a year.Keywords: desert., vehicles, cars, solar challenge morocco, dutch, teams, student teams, competition, students, delft, team, groningen, tricycle., twente, solar challenge morocco three