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Magnet manufacturer supports solar car project

Posted on 24 Apr 2024 and read 477 times
Magnet manufacturer supports solar car projectBunting — a leading designer and manufacturer of magnets, magnet assemblies, and magnetising equipment with engineering and manufacturing facilities in Berkhamsted and Redditch — is supporting the Brunel Solar Team with specialist magnets and technical support in the development of its Nuna 12S solar powered car. The Nuna 12S will compete with other teams in the 16th Sasol Solar Challenge in September, driving from Johannesburg to Cape Town in South Africa.

The present Brunel Solar Car team was formed in September 2023 for the 2024 Sasol Solar Challenge. The 11 students in the team cover a range of disciplines from engineering design through to marketing, and it was during the design phase that they realised specialist magnet-related technical support was needed. The team read several of Bunting’s technical press releases and blogposts on magnets and complex magnet assemblies, and contacted the company for guidance on the type, design, and assembly of the magnets to use in the drive motor.

Solar carMatthew Swallow, Bunting’s technical product manager, worked with the team on magnet specification and optimum build techniques. Selected was a special permanent neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) rare earth magnet that can generate high magnetic forces and transfer a ‘maximum amount of captured solar energy into motion’.

The Brunel Solar Team plan to officially reveal and test drive the new solar car in June 2024, before departing for the Sasol Solar Challenge in South Africa in early August. Further testing will take place in South Africa leading up to the race that starts on 13 September. The Sasol Solar Challenge challenges teams to develop, build and drive solar-powered cars, with the goal of covering the most distance without using a drop of fuel.

Mr Swallow said: “This is a great example of the important role magnets play in ‘green’ technology. The Brunel Solar Team is pushing the boundaries of solar power technology and we were thrilled to support them with magnet materials and technical assistance. The development of solar power projects like this and other sustainable technology is vitally important as the world moves away from fossil fuels.”