Newsletter 10: moving down under

28 - 08 - 2015



Solar Team Eindhoven Newsletter #10




Lux is gone, now the team and I are next. Strange feeling actually. This is what you are looking forward to the entire year but you do not realize that a couple of days later you will arrive in Australia. Maybe the reason for this feeling is that normally you prepare everything for a holiday a long time before you go. But for this journey, there is no time to prepare yourself. Quickly packing my suitcase, saying goodbye to everyone and taking care of some last issues, like sublet my studentroom and arrange team clothing.

A couple of days later, Tuesday the 25th of August, we were at Schiphol with the first part of our team to fly towards Adelaide. After 20 hours, we were welcomed by the host families of Cohda Wireless. Yesterday, the rest of the team arrived in Adelaide safly and Stella Lux will join us today.

For now we are getting over our jetleg and starting up the work routine. But the coming weeks will be characterized by preparing for our trip-up, and arranging all the cars and materials we need for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. When this is all taken care of, we will heading towards Darwin where we stay for another month to test Lux in Australian conditions. I do not know precisely what is ahead of us, but we prepared everything as good as possible and I am really looking forward to!

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In the last newsletter, I introduced my project of making a composite trailing arm. I first made a design of this arm.

I determined how many carbon layers where needed and what the orientation of these layers had to be. I had to keep in mind what was necessary and available for producing my design. I got help from VDL Fibertech Industries while designing and later for the production of this trailing arm.

The composite arm was produced with a hollow shaft to reduce weight. But, producing a hollow shaft is very hard to accomplish. That is why I used foam to cover this hollow part up.

After production, the composite trailing arm was tested by Benteler Engineering Services. Unfortunately something went wrong during this test, causing the composite trailing to fail. My bachelor ended at that moment. Because a lightweight trailing arm is a great benefit for the car, I made a new arm. This one broke as well. The reason was that there was not enough space between Stella Lux and the wheel to have the proper amount of carbon layers. The arm was not able to stay in one piece in the end, which is too bad!


At the 14th of August, we had our last event before Stella Lux and we leave the Netherlands. After seeing the design and exterieur of Stella Lux, our partners could now experience the interieur. Besides that, we could talk to our partners one last time before the World Solar Challenge.



This sentence awakes a big task, transporting Stella Lux and all the other goods we carry with us towards Australia. But Australia is not the only destination of Stella Lux. We take her to Shanghai, Shenzhen and Las Vegas as well. So, what do we take with us?

Foldy Pac is this year again a valuable partner by developing a custom made transportation box, such that Lux fits in precisely and that there is enough room for all our other goods.

To figure out what to pack and ensure that it all fits, I stopped by every member of the team to inventorize what they want to bring along. I documented this and this document became also the basis of our ATA Carnet, which is like a passport for goods.

Due to the many tasks which had to be completed before departure, I had not enough time to make the proper preparations for packing. At moments like that, you see the power and spirit of the team. When something does not go the way it should be, others help you to get the best result. The box arrived at Friday the 14th and on Saturday the 15th all the goods were packed and documented. Every box was labeled with an item number, location in the box, weight and description. When it all suited in the box, it was waiting for TNT to pick up the box for transport.

On Thursday the 20th of August at 07:00AM was the moment we had to give Stella Lux away for transport. Again a week of hard work and some stress every now and then was completed once more. The question which now stands is if we packed everything in the right way such that Stella Lux arrived in Australia in good condition?

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Though widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods and can pose a safety risk if not prepared properly. There have been several incidents with batteries which makes airlines less reluctant to take along battery packs. Especially packs like our own which is classified as a prototype battery. In addition our battery has a lot of energy in it, which presents an extra risk. One which was hard to overcome and cost a lot of effort to get the battery to Australia.

In order to transport our battery pack we had to split the battery into multiple parts and pack each module individually. Luckily this option was foreseen in the design phase. All of these packed modules had then to be placed in a container which has been developed specifically for battery transport. This box contains any incident within the box and will therefore not cause any damage to the rest of the plane. Transport of the battery takes a bit longer due to the rules and paperwork regarding dangerous goods. But it will arrive shortly and we will have a driving car in Australia soon.


“Eindhoven is PSV, Eindhoven is Stella, so PSV is Stella”. Those are the words of managing director Toon Gerbrands of PSV Eindhoven. He, the players and technical staff of PSV were amazed about Stella and asked the population of Eindhoven to support our project. You can support our project on the following website:


As Melvin told, on the 25th of August, the first 12 teammembers of our group depart towards Australia. After a flight of 6 hours towards Dubai and another 12 hours to Adelaide, half of the team will set foot in Australia.


When arriving in Australia, we are welcomed by people from Cohda Wireless. We will stay at host families, the employees of Cohda Wireless. They do everything to make our stay as good as possible. We are really thankful because we can totally focus on our trip up and the upcoming Challenge.




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