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Brunel Solar Team presents Nuna 11s: the solar car with the engine of the future

Press release
Lucas Frantzen
Nuna 11s in de pitlane op Circuit Zandvoort

For the first time in the history of the Solar Team, a engine has been developed and built entirely on its own. The new engine can deliver up to twice the power at the same weight and is therefore more efficient than the previous engines. This is possible due to a new configuration of the coils in the engine. This hypermodern technology is not yet used in the automotive industry, but it offers a lot of potential. Thus, lighter engines can be created that provide the same power, allowing the car to drive more efficiently. With the powerful engine, the Brunel Solar Team hopes to be sufficiently prepared for the large height differences during the eight-day race, something they faced during the last race in Morocco.

Accu en zonnepaneel

In order to power the innovative engine, the Brunel Solar Team has also made significant technological advances with the battery. Thus, it is as much as half (20 kilograms) lighter than previous editions, more reliable and safer. A big improvement because batteries are often the heaviest part of an electric vehicle.

The battery receives energy from the solar panel on the car, which is optimized to work as efficiently as possible in all environments and weather conditions. By using so-called diodes (or one-way conductors) in the panel, specific solar cells can be skipped. This allows the solar cells in the panel to be very accurately turned on and off. Where traditional solar panels automatically turn off themselves completely or in zones when covered in shade, this new invention makes it possible to turn off only the shaded part of the panel. This allows the solar panel to generate optimal energy at all times.


“We are doing everything we can to win the Sasol Solar Challenge and we are looking at the limits of what is possible. We do this for a larger purpose, namely to inspire the world in terms of sustainability and innovation,” says Team Captain Sanne Vilters. Strategist Remco Dirks: “The Sasol Solar Challenge, however, requires more than just innovative technology.” During the race in South Africa, the team will face huge altitude differences and all sorts of weather conditions, such as a curved and steep mountain range and a shaded rainforest. “We can normally prepare for this well in advance and optimize our strategy. But to make the race even more exciting this year, a blind stage, a half-blind stage and a marathon stage have been added to the route for the first time. On the evening of the fourth race day we hear the route of day five passes. As a result, we must strategically balance our energy consumption and production in the days ahead, in order to be prepared for all possible routes. Also, a part of the route of day seven (the half-blind stage) will not be known until the evening of day six. During the marathon internship, only three team members are allowed to key the car at night to prepare it for the next day, where the whole team can normally work on. Overall, the new stages are a huge challenge that we have been preparing for as a team for months. We have thoroughly tested our innovations and are confident that we will be the winner in September.”

Over de Sasol Solar challenge

The Brunel Solar Team is on the starting line of the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa on 9 September and hopes to return home with the victory after the challenges of recent years. A big challenge, where they play against teams from all over the world. The South African Sasol Solar Challenge is a two-year solar race from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Starting September 9, 2022, 16 teams will compete in this eight-day race with the most kilometers across the finish, without using a drop of fuel. The Sasol Solar Challenge is unique due to the changing weather conditions, a total height difference of 2000 meters and innovative stages.