Nuon solar team

Partner Meilink delivers solar car Nuna a hassle-free trip

In August 2016, the Nuon Solar Team went from Delft University of Technology to South Africa to participate in the SASOL Solar Challenge in September. Their trump card? The hi-tech solar car called Nuna. Together with sponsor and partner Meilink, specialising in extremely high-quality packaging and transport of fragile products, Nuna was transported to South Africa unscathed.

First, Nuna was carefully packaged in a flight case which combined all of Meilink’s years of fragile transport expertise in the Netherlands. Due in part to Meilink Chain Solutions, Nuna went to the start in Pretoria in top condition. Siebe Roefs, Acquisitions Manager of the Delft Nuon Solar Team:“We know our solar car Nuna was in good hands with Meilink.”

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Meilink Chain Solutions in practice

Meilink designed and produced a whole new flight case for Nuna. That was achieved by means of an excellent interaction. We focused a lot on the structure of the flight case itself. It has a double bottom. The old flight case did not. He team can now put more in it and the flight case is considerably stronger. In the design process, we also focused on versatility so that the packaging would be reusable. Because in addition to South Africa, Nuna is expected to participate in races on other continents as well, like Australia. A concrete example Meilink’s long-term thought and action.

For the previous Nuna shipment, the team had already used its own, existing flight case several times. It was at the end of its cycle and for Meilink, that was the starting point for a radical optimisation. The packaging was optimised for both sea and air freight. With a focus on that, in the design stage Meilink provided advice on the best dimensions for the flight case. The shape and weight were made suitable for air freight transport, but afterwards the box also fit in a sea container for the return trip. For that, we also made sure the amount of handling for packing and unpacking would be relatively low.

Perhaps the most important part of the solar car is the lightweight top, full of solar panels. Very fragile. Meilink made extra provisions for that. We developed a kind of frame in which the solar panels - so, the top of the body - remained free on all sides in the actual packaging. Then we built a structure surrounding that which provided optimal protection for the solar panels with a minimal risk of damage.

The Nuon Solar Team students packed Nuna in the special flight case themselves. Of course, they were given practical advice by Meilink to apply the Meilink Chain Solutions in the best way possible.

The flight case containing Nuna was shipped by plane from Schiphol to the location of the competition in South Africa and was unpacked in one piece on 29 August 2016, completely unscathed. That transport was organised and executed by a third party and went very smoothly thanks to the previous application of the Meilink Chain Solutions.