Dutch team wins 3000km solar auto challenge

Dutch team wins 3000km solar auto challenge”

Nuon, the superstar team from the Netherlands, won its third straight championship in the World Solar Challenge, a 1,860-mile (3,000k) solar auto race across Australia's outback. At race's end, a strong Dutch crowd, chanting "Nuna!"

The World Solar Challenge, which occurs every two years, has been running now for three decades.

The University of MI crossed the line second about an hour behind the Dutch with Belgium team Punch Powertrain close behind in third. Past participants in the race include Google co-founder Larry Page and Tesla co-founder JB Straubel.

They are allowed to store a small amount of energy but the majority of their power has to come from the sun and their vehicle's kinetic forces. With teams from the United States to Malaysia, from India to South Africa, the World challenge is truly a global affair.

Nuon has reigned supreme in the Challenger Class of the World Solar Challenge since first entering the race in 2001, its most recent triumph coming in a relatively tight 2015 race where it finished 10 minutes ahead of its compatriots Solar Team Twente.

The team is made up entirely of students from the Delft University of Technology who design, build and race the cars.

Team manager Sander Koot said they changed their strategy and driving style to cope with weather conditions that included wind gusts of up to 60 kmh. The team's aerodynamics expert says that the drivers were directed to position the solar auto in a way that enabled it to benefit from the winds just like a sailing ship.

Nuon took an early lead in this year's competition, which its strategists say they maintained by carefully watching the weather, energy consumption and predicting the best way through the clouds.

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