Staged between Darwin and Adelaide in Australia, the 3,000 km World Solar Challenge race was won by the Nuon Solar Team from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands in a time of just over 33 hours. Their average speed was 90.71kph.
Key to its success was the use of an ultra-light water-based composite pinhole filler (Aerowave 2501) and an aerodynamic Sikkens coatings system which reduced wind drag. The triumph comes just weeks after the Dutch VeloX3 recumbent bike – also coated by Sikkens – broke the world record for a human-powered vehicle.
“We’re delighted that our long-standing partnership with the students from Delft has produced another magnificent result and we congratulate the team for this fantastic achievement,” said Klaas Kruithof, director of research, development and innovation for AkzoNobel’s Performance Coatings activities. “It’s a great example of how we work closely with industrial customers to develop technically advanced coatings that deliver outstanding performance.”
This year’s race represented the fourth time that Sikkens technicians have worked with the Delft team on the Nuna project. The main addition for 2013 was the new water-based pinhole filler, which was originally developed for use on aircraft. It was combined with an aerodynamically advanced Sikkens coatings system to give the vehicle the best possible chance of finishing first. Which it did, 100km ahead of the team in second.
Launched in 1987, the World Solar Challenge is designed to showcase the development of advanced automotive technology and promote alternatives to conventional vehicle engines.