The Dutch solar racing team Nuon has won gold once again, for the fifth time in seven tries, at the World Solar Challenge race in Australia. Nuon reached the finish line while the closest runner-up, the Japanese team Tokai, was still more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) behind. The Dutch solar race car, the Nuna7, took just over 33 hours to complete the 3,000 kilometer (1864 miles) trip from Darwin to Adelaide — powered by nothing but the Sun. 🙂
Both the Nuon and Tokai teams were notably slowed down towards the end of the race by cloudy skies and rain — leading to Tokai temporarily stalling out on the side of the road with an empty battery, while Nuon was able to continue on thanks to greater energy stores, via “extra solar collector panels the team used while the car was stationary,” a strategy which I guess should be noted is within race guidelines.
The Nuna7 traveled at an average speed of about 90.71 kilometers (56.364 miles) an hour during the race. While that’s pretty impressive on its own, the solar car’s claimed top speed is actually about 185 kilometers (115 miles) an hour. When you consider that it’s powered by nothing but the Sun, that is really quite impressive.
Of the 20 teams that entered the race competing in the main Challenger class, only 10 finished the race, with the other 10 teams pulling out before the reaching the end. Of the local Australian teams, the highest-place finish was the Arrow, which took 7th.