The Nuon Solar Team has won the 2013 World Solar Challenge. Powered entirely by the sun, the Nuna7 vehicle made the 3,000-kilometre trip through Australia from Darwin to Adelaide in less than five days. DSM provided the resins and application technology used to build the solar car.
Racing 3,000 kilometers across the Australian outback, where temperatures top 50ºC, scant rainfall means the roads are covered in dust and nature is at its most extreme, it is not for the faint-hearted. Undaunted, every two years a group of solar powered cars begin the journey between Darwin to Adelaide in the World Solar Challenge.
The 2013 race saw 40 teams from 23 countries compete under the scorching Australian sun. Among them was the Nuon Solar Team with their vehicle, Nuna7. As the long-standing innovation partner of the team consisting of students from Delft University of Technology, DSM applied its science in the development and construction of the Nuna7.
During the early stages of development DSM’s Somos stereolithography materials were used for rapid prototyping. Later on these same materials found their way into several of Nuna7’s important lighting and power system components.
Nuna7’s shell was manufactured using Daron resins optimized for use with Textreme carbon fiber, resulting in a stiff, strong, yet lightweight vehicle. It seemed particularly apt to build a solar powered vehicle with Daron styrene-free resins systems with their close-to-zero smell and solvent emissions. Recognized as the environmentally preferred alternative to conventional styrene-based resin systems, using Daron meant Nuna7 was the greenest Nuna to date, in every sense.
After months of effort back in Delft, the team relocated to Northern Australia and took to the road in Darwin. Over the course of 5 days of racing Nuna7 lead the field from starting gun to finish line while many succumbed to the rigors of the Outback.
In the end it was a two horse race, with the winners of the previous two races, the Tokai Challenger from Japan’s Tokai University pushing Nuna7 for top spot. On this occasion the Nuon Solar Team proved victorious!