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DSM congratulates Nuna7S with South African Solar win

Schaffhausen, CH, 28 Oct 2014 14:30 CET

The Nuon Solar team has won the Sasol Solar Challenge 2014 in South Africa, finishing an impressive 1,496 kilometers ahead of the runner up. Their Nuna7S car, containing DSM resins and built using DSM composite technology traveled from Pretoria to Cape town entirely on solar power. Combined with their previous successes in Australia’s Solar Challenge, this win in South Africa firmly positions the Nuon Solar Team as a forerunner in sustainable transportation and one that DSM is proud to partner with.
Nuna 7S in South Africa (Photo courtesy Hans-Peter van Velthoven, all rights reserved)

The Nuon Solar Team from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands already began developing and constructing the Nuna7S in March 2013. As the team’s innovation partner, DSM provided resins, design support and manufacturing technology. The result is a faster, safer and more energy-efficient car.

The Nuna7S’s shell was fabricated using DSM’s Daron® resins optimized for use with Textreme® carbon fiber, resulting in a stiff, strong, yet lightweight vehicle. Because of their close-to-zero smell and solvent emissions, Daron resins are an environmentally preferred alternative to conventional styrene-based resin systems. Additionally, during the early stages of development DSM’s Somos® stereolithography materials were used for rapid prototyping. Later on these same materials found their way into several of Nuna7S’s important lighting and power system components.

After winning the 2013 World Solar Challenge in Australia, the vehicle was further improved for the Sasol Solar Challenge 2014. The changes included the addition of structural elements required for driver safety, and an optimization of motor capabilities to better climb the steep South African mountains. Here again the light weight of the composite construction helped to get the maximum power out of the vehicle.

The Nuon Solar Team is the first team ever that has won these two important solar challenges in under 12 months. Congratulations to the team for achieving this great result!

Just like Formula 1, the Sasol Solar Challenge is a test environment for the cars of the future”, comments Ad de Koning, R&D Manager of DSM Composite Resins. “By taking part in this race with the Nuna7S, DSM not only adds to its knowledge about these versatile materials, but it also demonstrates how serious DSM is about sustainable development.