Nuon solar team

Winning solar car safely returned to the Netherlands

The Nuon Solar Team from Delft once again proved their ability to build the world’s most efficient solar car. In September, the Delft students won an exciting race: the SASOL Solar Challenge in South Africa. With a total of 4717 kilometres on the meter, they broke the world record for the number of kilometres driven in a solar car race. Meilink is an avid sponsor of the Nuon Solar Team and designed and built the flight case which brought the Nuna8s from the Netherlands to South Africa all in one piece to participate in the race.

On 24 September, the SASOL Solar Challenge started in South Africa: an eight-day solar race from Pretoria to Cape Town. The Nuon Solar Team participated with the Nuna8s: an upgraded version of the Nuna8 solar car, which won them the world championship in Australia last year. In South Africa, the teams’ challenge was to drive as many kilometres as possible. In the end, the Delft University team drove 4717km: enough to beat their biggest competitors Tokai (4545 km) and Megalux (4033) and break the world record.

Sander Koot, Team Manager of the Nuon Solar Team: “Many thanks go out to Meilink again for their incredible support. We couldn’t have done it without them!”

Of the famous seven Meilink Chain Solutions, four were applied for the return trip: Design, Packaging, Packing and Warehousing. Click on one of the icons below to read more.

Meilink Chain Solutions in practice

The team was very pleased with Meilink’s flight case design. It protects the sensitive solar panels and offers space for storing additional materials along with the Nuna8s. In the Meilink Chain Solution Design, Meilink used the 3D CAD programme SolidWorks, which ensures that the flight case design meets the strict project requirements down to the last detail.

The flight case was made of first-class, waterproof multiplex which we had in storage, and which had been dried for 2 years. That ensured a flight case for which during production, wood was used that no longer had any effect.

After the successful race, the Nuna8s was packed up by the team members themselves in the flight case designed and produced for both the outward and return trip by Meilink based on its Meilink Chain Solution Design and Meilink Chain Solution Packing. When packing for the return trip, they applied the tips & tricks they learned from the Meilink employees when they packed it previously in Borculo. Therefore they were able to pack it for the return trip themselves. That went quickly and smoothly, as the flight case was completely custom made for the fragile solar car. For maximum protection, the Nuna8s was packed in polythene shrink film inside the flight case.

The flight case arrived back in the Netherlands on a ship on Wednesday 9 November. At Delft University, to be exact. As a sponsor, Meilink was invited to attend this arrival. The Nuna8s had returned unscathed and is now ‘parked’ at Delft University. The Meilink-sponsored flight case is now safe and sound in storage at Meilink in Raamsdonksveer, under the Meilink Chain Solution Warehousing. In Raamsdonksveer, Meilink specialises in large-scale, safe and dry storage of its packaging. After its return from South Africa, the flight case was extremely carefully checked for any faults that may have arisen during the trip. None were found. The flight case was stored with the intention of being used again for the next World Solar Challenge in Australia in 2017. But then, it will most likely be used to carry the Nuna9, the Nuna8S’s envisioned successor. The specifications of this model are not yet known, so we do not yet know whether the existing flight case can be used for that one as well.