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Brunel Solar Team presents it’s most efficient solar car ever

Press release
Valerie Klemann
The Brunel Solar Team with it's newly revealed Nuna 12s

Using an innovative production method, the team has developed a motor in which a magnetic inner and outer ring generate energy. While regular electric motors have one magnetic ring, this motor can deliver more power with the same amount of energy. Additionally, the motor contains a strong type of steel also used in motorsports, and it is lighter than previous years. The team collaborated with specialized partners for the motor's development, including a magnet specialist. "Every year, the team develops its own car with, among other things, a solar panel, a battery, and a board computer, but we have always encountered problems when designing and producing our own motor in previous years. I am very proud that we succeeded this year," says Willem van Overbeeke, Electrical Engineer at the Brunel Solar Team. "With the implementation of the two magnetic rings, we have achieved a remarkable innovation this year. And we will do everything we can to win the South African title with our Nuna 12S."

Striking Design

In addition to the advanced motor, Nuna 12S also has a striking design. This year, the Delft blue color and the Big Five play a central role in the appearance of the solar car. "The Big Five refers to our potential fifth title in South Africa, our ‘fifth ring’ in Olympic terms. Moreover, these five animals each symbolize a specific characteristic, such as the elephant for wisdom and the rhinoceros for resilience. We also see these characteristics in our team," says Cato Kral, Team Leader of the Brunel Solar Team. "We have the knowledge to innovate continuously, and we can handle setbacks during the race. We prepare ourselves to the fullest to achieve the utmost in solar energy and mobility in a safe manner. Additionally, the Delft blue on the car refers to our TU Delft background. This way, we take a piece of home with us to South Africa."

Most Extreme Solar Race Ever

Compared to previous years, this year’s solar race has an even more extreme format. This time, the solar cars will race for eight days from Johannesburg to Cape Town, facing enormous altitude differences, severe weather conditions, and busy cities. They will also encounter stages where the route is only shared shortly in advance: the so-called half-blind and blind stages. The team with the most kilometers after eight days wins the race. Kral: “This year is different in every way. The new format brings different strategic considerations. For example, how do you ensure you drive as many loops as possible each day without getting a time penalty the next day for arriving too late at the finish? We also have to consider rapidly changing weather conditions and the fact that we are driving on public roads. Fortunately, former Olympic coach Marc Lammers teaches us to work together as a high-performance team, allowing us to withstand these challenging conditions. I have no doubt that with our expertise, ambition, and perseverance, we will find a suitable strategy to win the race.”

In the coming three months, the team will enter a testing and preparation phase where the solar car will be extensively tested on various circuits in the Netherlands, and the team can develop into a real racing team. Subsequently, the presented Nuna 12S will depart for South Africa in August, where they will explore a part of the route and make the final preparations before they participate in the Sasol Solar Challenge on the 13th of September.