Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dutch students reveal car with positive energy balance

A team of more than 20 students from Eindhoven University of Technology has recently revealed their proud creation, a family car fueled by solar panels on its roof. The car, named Stella, can produce more electric energy than it consumes, if you leave it out in the sun and drive it for an average amount of time. Even in a colder climate country such as the Netherlands it will be energy-positive during 10 months of the year, which makes it much cheaper to drive than a hybrid or even a full-electric car.


Another advantage is the light construction with an aluminum chassis and carbon fiber body and interior panels. The total car weighs only 380 kg, making it lighter even than a Twizy. Aerodynamically, the students managed to optimize the design while maintaining a large roof area, covering all wheels, and creating enough space for the occupants inside. Other requirements, such as imposed by international law and by the race that Stella is going to compete in, were also met. Think of the location of the lights, the viewing angle, and the maximum length and width of the car.

I am personally proud to also have co-operated on the design of this vehicle, and am looking forward to the World Solar Challenge in October, where the proverbial pudding will be eaten and the proof will come to light whether Stella is a rising or a shooting star.


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