April 23, 2018

Flying a hydrofoil boat is like riding a bike

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:10 am


Controlling a single-track hydrofoil is like controlling a bicycle, two Masters student from Delft University claim in a paper published in Naval Engineers Journal last month.

“We used a mathematical model to validate whether a single-track hydrofoil using two foils, one behind the other in the water, would remain stable in the same way as we stay upright on a bike,” one of the students, Gijsbert van Marrewijk, told Delft University last week. The principle of staying upright on a bike is the one of steering into the fall.

Van Marrewijk and his co-author Johan Schonebaum were inspired by the hydrofoil boat of the Solar Boat team of their university, of which they were members. Hydrofoil boats have wings under the hull that lift the boat out of the water, reducing drag and, all other things being equal, increasing speed. Using a single-track hydrofoil reduces drag even further over the more conventional and more stable multi-track vehicle.

See the 2015 version of the Delft University Solar Boat team in action:

For some reason recent versions of the boat have returned to multi-track hydrofoils. The mathematical model developed by the two students should make it easier to test new designs in a computer simulation.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gbvm2, some rights reserved.

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October 13, 2017

Dutch win third World Solar Challenge 2017

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 3:33 pm


This week the Nuon Dutch team won a 3,000-kilometre solar car race across Australia’s outback for the third-straight year with the Nuna 9 car (not pictured here), travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kilometres per hour. The car pictured here is a Cruiser class Stella Lux, another solar-powered Dutch car that wins races.

This year, the team’s winning time was 37 hours, 10 minutes and 41 seconds. When their team finished first in 2015, it took them 33.03 hours. This year they had to compensate for severe wind gusts.

The win is the seventh for Nuon, with their car overcoming cloudy skies as they took the lead early and stayed ahead in the elite Challenger class, which features slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency.

(Link: phys.org, Photo of Cruiser class Stella Lux by Bart van Overbeeke/phys.org)

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July 8, 2016

Dutch students set world record with solar-powered boat

Filed under: Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:03 pm


This week, the Delft University of Technology’s Solar Boat Team has set a world record of 50.5 kilometres per hour on Day 5 of the Dutch Solar Challenge in Drachten, Friesland. There wasn’t any previous record, making this a sweet victory for the students.

This world record will also be added to the Guinness World Records as the first record ever set for a solar-powered boat. Second place in the challenge was 42 kilometres per hour set by a team from Leeuwarden, Friesland and 30,3 kilometres per hour was clocked by a team from Slochteren, Groningen.

The Delft team also won ook the innovation award thanks to the technology it used, which included two hydrofoils placed one behind another instead of next to each other, which had the boat ‘skating over the water’.

(Link: tweakers.net, photo: www.solarboatteam.nl)

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October 26, 2015

Solar-powered family car wins again in Australia

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 11:55 am


The Eindhoven University of Technology has taken the win in the Cruiser class at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia on 18 October 2015 for its solar-powered four-person car, the Stella Lux. It’s the second time in a row that the team from Eindhoven has won in a category that’s only existed for two editions, meaning the Dutch team is still undefeated. Here’s a quick video in English of the Dutch taking the win.

Besides speed, other things such as being environmentally friendly and having comfortable seats also count, which explains the Cruiser class win for the Stella Lux. It consistently had two people driving in the car, which the others did not. Oh, and the car has cup holders.

(Link: www.bright.nl, Photo by Bart van Overbeeke/phys.org)

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August 24, 2015

Den Bosch tests noise barrier made of solar panels

Filed under: Automobiles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 11:06 am


Boffins at the Eindhoven University of Technology have designed motorway noise barriers that are colourful instead of dingy and that also collect solar energy instead of just cutting down on noise and being dingy. Sonobs (Solar Noise Barriers) can be made cheaply, made resistant to vandalism and come in many colours.

The special panels built to make the barriers are made of luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs), coloured panels that receive light and direct it to the edges of the panels where traditional solar cells collect the solar energy.

“A year-long test project was launched on June 18 on two sections of noise barriers, each 5 metres wide and 4.5 metres high. The barriers are partially covered in the LSCs and partially covered in semi-transparent panels holding conventional solar cells, so that they can compare the performances of the two technologies.”

Initial research shows that a kilometre of the solar noise barriers can generate enough electricity to power 50 Dutch homes.

(Links and photo: www.treehugger.com, www.tue.nl)

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July 7, 2015

Solar-powered family car to debut in race

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 10:25 am


The Solar Team Eindhoven from Eindhoven University of Technology presented its new solar-powered car this week, the Stella Lux, an ‘intelligent, solar-powered family car that generates more power than it uses’. The car will participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia on 18 October 2015.

By combining the aerodynamic design with lightweight materials like carbon and aluminium, the Eindhoven student team has once again come up with a very energy-efficient design. Stella Lux can reach a range of 1,000 km on a sunny day in the Netherlands [yes, we get more sun than we let on]. On balance the car generates more energy than it uses, which makes it energy-positive.

In 2013 Eindhoven took first place in the Cruiser Class title with its first car, Stella, in Australia. This year’s race is more about speed, which is why Solar Team Eindhoven decided to build a new and lighter car with fewer seats, although still a true family car that seats four and is fitted with a specially designed navigation system.

(Link: phys.org, Photo by Bart van Overbeeke/phys.org)

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December 28, 2014

Much-hailed solar bike path is cracking

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am


We’ve been posting about this solar cell bike path since 2011 and now the truth is, when this year’s first frost hit the ground, the solar panels cracked.

In November, De Orkaan website had said that the solar cell bike path was possibly a bad idea (Dutch), quoting an article from Renewables International that had dissed the project altogether.

A 70 metre bike path in Krommenie, North Holland was fitted with solar cells, protected by a glass surface ‘strong enough to drive a truck over it’, but apparently not strong enough to deal with a bit of frost. Granted, it was a pilot project, but it is important to show people what failure looks like before the Dutch government spends tons of tax payers’ money on something that doesn’t work.

(Link and photo: deorkaan.nl)

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August 17, 2013

Solar car from Eindhoven rated street legal

Filed under: Automobiles,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 10:05 pm

A team of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology has created a solar powered family car that is street legal, Telegraaf reported last Tuesday.

The car called Stella was created by Solar Team Eindhoven in a bid to win the Cruiser Class of the World Solar Challenge in Australia this October. Stella is 4.5 metres long, 1.65 metres wide and seats four. It can go 430 kilometres on a single charge. The solar panel has only got an efficiency rating of 22%. Spokesperson Wouter van Loon told Bright last month that this was a conscious decision: “We could have opted for a space-grade panel, but this way we keep the car affordable.”

The car’s top speed is only 120 km/h because the special low-friction tires cannot handle more. In the past teams of the universities of Twente and Delft also participated in the World Solar Challenge. Delft’s car Nuna, shown here, won the race 4 times out of the 7 it entered, and in 2011 it finished second after Japan’s Tokai Challenger.

(Photo of Nuna5 by Nuon Solar Team, some rights reserved)

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June 27, 2007

The Nuna 4 unveiled today

Filed under: Automobiles,Science,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am
Nuon solar challenge 4

Today in Delft, South Holland (and hopefully with some sun) the unveiling of the Nuna 4 solar-powered car (see the car here) will take place, an event open to all.

The team designed a whole new solar-powered car in order to meet new rules of the World Solar Challenge: less solar cells on the car, the driver needed to be sitting up straight and security measures were tightened. In short, this new car is the first step towards an actual solar-powered car that is more like an ordinary car.

Oh, and the Delft University of Technology is looking for its fourth win in a row.

The Nuna 4 was designed and built by 11 enthousiastic students from the Delft University of Technology, who will be leaving for Australia this summer for the World Solar Challenge, the world championship of solar-powered cars, held from 21 to 28 October.

The unveiling will take place at 16:25 at the field in front of the Delft University of Technology on the Mekelweg for anyone in the neighbourhood.

(Link: TU Delft)

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