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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4 time Solar Challenge winners unveil new car Nuna5

The team that has won the World Solar Challenge for the last 4 consecutive years, Delft University, has unvelied their lattest solar racer ahead of this years event. The Australian based Solar race is probably the toughest race in the world. It covers 3000km of mostly desert road between Darwin and Adelaide where teams must set up camp on the side of the road each night where their car stopped when the sun went down. This year vehicles are required to have treaded tires, which create more rolling resistance and makes it more difficult to achieve the incredible level of efficiency required to win the race.

Like its predecessor the Nuna4, the vehicle is covered with 6 square meters of solar panels made up of 2120x Gallium Arsenide triple joint cells with 34% efficiency. These drive an Australian CSIRO developed Axial Flux BLDC in wheel motor that produces 50 Nm of torque at 97% peak efficiency. When the solar cells are producing more power than is required to drive the motor the excess is stored in a 25 kg lithium polymer battery pack.

The team have reduced vehicle weight by 30 kg to a super low 160 kg excluding driver. The aerodynamic load is approx 1/12 th that of a noraml road car while the rolling resistance is 1/10 th.

The team are aiming for their 5th consecutive win on the World Solar Challenge, this year held on the 25th of October and will run for several days.

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