This is what the license plate of the solar racer reads. During the previous race in Australia, the license plate could be placed behind transparent material in the cockpit, but the new rules no longer allow it. This is detrimental to aerodynamics. Fortunately, the team found a solution and cleverly integrated the license plate behind the right rear wheel, shortening the cockpit for better airflow.
Nuna 12 runs on Li-ion pouch cells, similar to the battery in a phone. This provides the battery with a very high energy density, allowing Nuna 12 to drive even faster. The aerodynamic shape has been designed to the limit around the battery, allowing the battery to fit precisely in the pointed nose.
The best materials
Nuna 12 is made from the best materials. The body is constructed from TexTreme carbon fibers, which are also used in Formula 1. In areas with high shear force, a new type of aramid has been added. This material is also used in spacesuits to prevent tearing. And because carbon fibers block communication signals, certain sections are made from fiberglass.
Stacking solar cells
The solar cells of Nuna 12 have been layered on top of each other, with no white space between individual cells. This makes Nuna 12 even smaller and faster.
Compact steering system
Pushing the limits on how small and narrow Nuna 12 can be, fitting the steering system was a challenge. The mechanics succeeded in making the steering system and suspension so compact that it fits within the thinnest nose ever.
Nuna 12's onboard computer was due for an upgrade after over five years, as the old system frequently malfunctioned and was unreliable. This is crucial because this onboard computer sends signals from sensors to the strategy car, which determines how fast Nuna 12 can drive to win the race.
Nuna 12 is lighter, narrower, and faster. It is the lightest solar car ever built by the team, and the thinner aerodynamic shape drove innovations in every other aspect. The new battery, equipped with the latest Li-Ion pouch cells, fits precisely into the pointed nose. Solar cells have been layered on top of each other to make the car even smaller without sacrificing efficiency. And the new steering system makes the solar car even more stable and reliable.
In october, the team will participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia for the 11th time. The route runs from the northern city of Darwin, spanning a distance of over 3000 kilometers, straight through the outback to the southern city of Adelaide.
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2023
3.6m x 1.7m x 0.93m
4 m2 Silicium
20 kg Li-Ion