Newsletter 11: Final Preparations

25 - 09 - 2015



Solar Team Eindhoven Newsletter #11




During our time in the outback for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge I will be responsible for the team’s food & water. This meant that during our big trip up, I also got to test out my plans for feeding everybody. This consisted of planning all the meals and buying the food and thinking about how to keep the team supplied with food as fresh and (of course) tasteful as possible.

In the morning I made sure everyone had a good foundation for the day. Every morning we had breakfast with bread and eggs.The french toast proved to be a big favorite of the team.

After breakfast, groups of different disciplines took turns preparing and packaging lunch for the rest of the team. Who knew electrical engineers would be so skillful with peanut butter and jelly!? After a long day of driving, dinner consisted of a base of brown rice or wholemeal pasta with different sauces prepared with meat and vegetables. Especially the size of the portions and the amount of water we need to bring proved hard to determine but after this trip up I am confident nobody will arrive back in Adelaide hungry or thirsty.


During our trip up, we already saw the beauty of Australia. To share this with you, we made a small selection of the pictures we took during our trip up. Starting top left and rotate clockwise: view from Stuart Highway at the first day, dried salt lake Amadeus, rock Uluru, night sky in the outback, and sunrise at Devils Marbles.

Inline afbeelding 1



I have the honor to drive in Stella Lux during the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. In the Netherlands I already drove a sufficient number of kilometers to get used to driving in Lux. Here in Australia we are now completely focused to perform as good as possible for the Challenge. This means great discipline for our entire team and complete focus for the drivers in addition.

We practised various situations like they will be in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge with a dummy solar-car. Situations like overtaking other cars, control stops, driving in convoy and emergency stops. After every situation, we had an evaluation what was good and what could be better next time. The other drivers and I now know what our responsibilities and duties are during those situations when driving our solar car.

Besides that is it also important to be in good shape. The temperature can rise significantly in Lux under the Australian sun. That is why we agreed to exercise 3 times a week with all the drivers and co-drivers. In addition, I go for a run a couple times in the week. It is nice to see that not only the drivers and co-drivers want to be fit for the Challenge starts, other team members exercise and go for a run as well. This ensures that we as drivers, co-drivers and all the other team members are well prepared and are fit to start.  



Purpose of strategy

Now we are working on the details to get our car in top-shape, the next thing to do is to maximize our score during the Challenge. To get the best out of our car, are Michael and I busy to figure out a strategy which will lead to the best possible score.

During the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, we will be judged on a combination of 4 factors: velocity, person kilometers, external energy consumption and an adjudication about the practical use of our car. The consideration we have to make constantly is if we have drive with additional persons in the car or not; more persons makes us slower, but then we score more points for person kilometers. To make it even more complex does the overall score depend on the performances of our competitors.


To get the maximal performance of our car, we strive to drive the battery completely empty at the moment we cross the finish. We could have driven faster is we pass the finish line with energy left in our battery.

During the Challenge we are constantly calculating the speed of Stella Lux. Calculating this speed is a complex task, because it depends heavily on the solar irradiation. In order to get the most up-to-date weather predictions is our strategy van equipped with multiple antennas. Those enable us to have internet access throughout the entire outback. 

We also have the ability to monitor the current status of Lux and use the latest status in our calculations. This information is wirelessly sent to our strategy van. In this way, we can check if the consumption of our car is as we expect it to be or if there is something wrong.

All these activities must lead to our ideal strategy during the Challenge and therefore maximizing our score. Even with all these data, we still do not know if we have won once we crossed the finish line. After the practicality judgement we know if our score is high enough to prolong our world championship.


Now we are in Darwin, we are staying at Kormilda College. They are supplying 3 meals a day for us and we can make use of their sport facilities like a swimming pool and basketball field. We are really happy to enjoy facilities like this with a spectacular view on top of it.


Our workshop at Sitzler is located within a 5 minute walk of Kormilda College. Sitzler has arranged office space and a large garage to work on Stella Lux. After the welcome barbecue, Sitzler really lets us feel ourselves at home (but then warmer).


On the 20th of September, we had another barbecue. This time it was with Nuon Solar Team, Solar Team Twente (both NL) and Punch Power Train (BE). At the beach we had a nice atmosphere without the tension of the upcoming challenge.


While we are in Australia, Stella is in Frankfurt with the team that built her in 2013. She is being exhibited at the Innovation Lane at the IAA. World’s first solar powered family car is still receiving the recognition she deserves!




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