The project started past September with the design of the hull’s shape. The most important demands? As little resistance as possible and still large enough for a solar deck. After some hard work, together with the naval architects of Van Oossanen from Wageningen, the optimal hull design was quickly designed and has now been realised.
The complete hull has been out of carbon. This material is ultra-lightweight and at the same time very strong. Nonetheless, carbon is rolled up when it is delivered, how do you turn that into a boat? Therefore, the first step was to make a mould in which a hole in the exact shape of the boat was machined. Subsequently, several layers of carbon are applied to it. To construct the boat a core material is applied between the carbon, the so-called honeycomb. When you look at the required strength and rigidity of the material, the honeycomb is most lightweight solutions to meet these demands. When the several layers are placed inside the mould, the whole structure can be placed inside the oven. This is an enormous oven in which the 7-meter-long boat can be easily placed. When it comes out, only some minor difficult details must be manually shaped and then the hull is ready. This is exactly the moment in the process at which Solar Boat Twente is now.
With just the hull of the boat, the team does not yet have a complete boat. That’s why the hull is moved today to Hengelo to be assembled there, together with the other part, to construct the boat. On the High Tech Systems Park, located on Thales premises, a workshop has been made available to finish the boat. It is located in the harbour, next to the Twentekanaal. Ad ideal location because when testing, the boat can be easily launched and lifted from the water.
According to the planning the boat will be launched for the first time at the beginning of May. Then there is short testing period before the boat is officially unveiled on May 18thand ready for its first challenge a week later: the National Championships solar boat racing in Akkrum in Friesland. Followed by a quiet period to further optimize the boat, to make sure it is ready for the race in Monaco from July 13thto 15th. There the Solar Boat Twente will compete to achieve its goal: to qualify top 3 in the World Championships.