Red Engine: lighter despite extra wheel




In October this year, the World Solar Challenge held for the 12th time in Australia, the race in which universities compete to race on solar drive entirely with cars. In the main class of this race, the Challenger class, do it again this year with two Dutch teams. TU Delft is working on a new version of the Nuna solar car and the Solar Team Twente is currently testing the Red Engine at the airport in Enschede.

The Red Engine has a top speed of 145 kilometers per hour, but will soon be driving in Australia. Because the regulations between 110 and 130 kilometers per hour In addition, the proper waiver for drivers: the temperatures in the cockpit can be up to about 45 degrees and there is no air conditioning. By that extra wheel would an increase in weight compared to its predecessor obvious, but that’s crazy enough not the case. The new solar car of Twente even weighs about 40 pounds less. The car of the team from Twente can be from the following car with a laptop followed in several ways. For example, it can be not only real-time all kinds of data requested, it may also be the speed of The Red Engine at a distance adjusted by means of the cruise control.

Participating in the World Solar Challenge is no easy task. The cost of making and transporting the vehicle running quickly on high and it is important to make the right contacts. And although it seems like teams with the biggest tech companies behind them are most likely, there are fortunately some rules to make the fight more honest. For example, there may be only a limited area of ​​the vehicle used for solar cells.

Although the race has been organized since 1987 and the cars will soon go off, about 3000 kilometers in Australia a solar car on public roads can and should drive still seems far away.

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