Ontmoet Esmee

Ontmoet Esmee,

Esmee is geboren in Amsterdam en opgegroeid in Amstelveen. Hier heeft ze haar VWO gehaald aan het Technasium. Twee jaar geleden is ze naar Delft verhuisd om hier de studies Technische Wiskunde en Technische Natuurkunde te volgen. Ze zit nu in haar tweede jaar.
Esmee is bij het Solar Boat Team gekomen zodat ze de theoretische kennis van haar studie toe kan passen in de realiteit, om iets echt tastbaars te maken dus. Ze koos voor specifiek het TU Delft solar boat team omdat de sfeer en het enthousiasme van het team haar heel erg aansprak.
Esmee werkt dit jaar onder andere aan het telemetriesysteem. Ze wilt bereiken dat we een werkend en robuust systeem hebben en dat we meer uit dit systeem kunnen halen dan in de voorgaande jaren. Dit met zowel data-analyse achteraf als met real-time visualisatie van de data. Het telemetriesysteem moet makkelijk zijn om mee te werken, overzichtelijk zijn en alle gegevens die relevat zijn voor het strategieteam moeten duidelijk te zien zijn.

Esmee versterkt het team dit jaar in het Electronics Department met haar programmeerskills, leergierigheid en betrokkenheid!
Naast haar tijd bij het Solar Boat Team doet ze aan dansen en is ze lid bij SoSalsa en bij Outsite. Verder speelt ze ook nog dwarsfluit!

Working on the telemetry system of the boat

My name is Esmee Huijten and I am a member of the Solar Boat Team 2018. In the past half year, I
have been working in the D:DREAM hall, making new features for our telemetry system. The
telemetry system ensures that all gathered data on the boat is processed, stored, and displayed on a
user-friendly interface for the strategy team. At the beginning of the year, I have spoken to a lot of
alumni of the Solar Boat Team to find out which features would really be an improvement and based
on those and my own ideas, I am improving our telemetry system.
The location of the boat
During tests and races, the boat often has to sail long distances. As such, we will not always be able
to see where exactly the boat is. For the strategy team, it is important to know where the boat is, for
example to determine if we are on schedule or not. It is also important for the team to be able to get
to the boat as fast as possible if there is a problem. Because of that, it should be very easy to obtain
the route from the team to the boat at any moment. In previous years, the team did not have a live
feed of the location and this could cause difficulties for the team. We now have a panel in which we
can see the live location of the boat and we can open a webpage which instantly gives the route
from the device to the boat.

P-V curve
The P-V curve of the boat relates the consumed power P to the velocity V. Comparing the real-time
power and velocity with our predetermined P-V curve can tell us a lot about the performance of the
boat and can help with troubleshooting. We can see for example, if the boat uses more or less
power than predicted. We can also determine the most efficient velocities if we combine this
information with the weather and the distance that the boat has to sail. Finally, if there is a problem,
for example the solar panels are not working as they should or there is something stuck in the
propeller of the boat, the consumed power is much higher than expected. Hence, plotting P-V points
real-time helps to determine if there is a problem that needs to be solved.
Hardware components of the telemetry system
Next to my software tasks, I am in charge of a few hardware components that need to be connected
and tested. All electric components are connected with each other with one large cable, that
transfers the data of all these components to one place in the boat. From here, the data needs to be
sent to a database. This is where the telemetry system comes into play, where the data is
transmitted via a 4G connection. The telemetry system therefore contains a 4G modem, an antenna,

and a board, which needs to be programmed so that it knows what it has to do. At the moment, the
implementation is almost finished, so the telemetry system will soon be ready to be tested and

The struts are here!

De struts zijn binnen! De afgelopen weken produceerden we onze struts en vleugels bij Bayards. Tijdens het designen van de struts hebben we in samenwerking met Bayards het design geoptimaliseerd waardoor de struts nu nog dunner en hydrodynamischer zijn dan vorig jaar. Dit resulteert dus in minder weerstand en dus een efficientere boot.

De struts hoeven nu alleen nog maar geanodiseerd te worden en er moet een waterdichte pakking tussen de twee helften worden aangebracht voordat we de struts onder de boot zullen plaatsen.

Bedankt Bayards voor jullie hulp. We kijken uit naar de productie van de draagvleugels!

The materials of the hull and deck

In order to make the boat as light as possible, we have to use lightweight materials to build the boat. Therefore we build the boat out of carbon fibre.
The first thing we need to start building is a plug of the boat. The plug is a full scale replica of the boat made out of foam and putty. MARIN built this plug for us, using a milling machine to make the outer contour with high precision. 
After the plug was finished, we were able to start building the negative mould. This negative mould is made out of carbon fibre, just like the boat. It is very important to have the mould build out the same materials as the boat itself, otherwise the boat and the mould will deform differently at the heat of the curing process (I will explain the curing process later). This might cause the hull structure to be deformed, or worse: be cracked. 
The mould needs to be very strong and stiff, so we can be sure the boat will get the right shape. To do so the mould is made out of 14 layers of carbon fibre. These fibres have to be impregnated with resin, this can be done in multiple ways, but we used wet lay-up. Wet lay-up means the resin is applied to the dry fibres, using paint rollers. This results in a relatively cheap and easy to produce mould. 
Now the negative mould is finished, the production of the actual boat can begin. The first step is to lay the outer skin of carbon fibre. To make this as light as possible we used prepregs we received from Gurit. Prepreg means that the fibres have been pre impregnated by the producer. This makes the final result less sensitive for defaults and results in a lighter product. Usually the resin in the fibres would harden when stored at room temperatures, but this would make the prepreg unusable. To prevent this from happening the prepregs are stored in giant freezers at -18 oC. After the the outer skin had been laid it needed to be cured in a giant oven (our oven at Rondal is 6x10x2 meters!) at 90 oC for a couple of hours. This cure hardens the resin in the prepreg.
The next step is to apply the core material in the boat, so the needed strength is provided. To connect the outer skin to the core material, we covered the outer skin in glue film. Afterwards we could stick the core material to the glue film. The core material exists of foam and nomex honeycomb. The foam is stronger and therefore used at critical spots in the boat, for example around the struts and under the pilot seating. Because the foam is relatively heavy compared to the nomex, the non-critical points are covered with the nomex honeycomb. Before we could continue with the outer skin we first had to cure the boat again to cure the glue between the outer skin and the core material.
Now the only step left was laying of the inner skin of the boat. To make the inner skin connect to the core material we had to apply glue film to the core material. After the glue film was in place we could stick the inner skin to the glue film. The inner skin is made of exactly the same material as the outer skin, however they do not have the same properties. This is due to the direction we oriented the fibres: the fibres in the outer skin are oriented in  0 and 90 degrees, as the inner skin is oriented at -45 and +45 degrees. This means that the inner and the outer skin have different directions in which they provide there maximum strength.
 This brings us to where we are right now. All the layers are in place and the only step left is the cure of the glue and the inner skin in the oven.

Using VR in the design process

Virtual reality, or VR in short, is a technology that has become accessible to the public with headsets like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. VR allows engineers to bring their designs closer to themselves or the public. You could review the relative size of a part, assemble a system or just have a look at a new design. The TU Delft Solar Boat Team is exploring the opportunities that this technology offers. For the design presentation of January 25th, a model was made in collaboration with the VR-Lab of the TU Delft. It was used in the reveal video and after the presentation, the audience could walk around the boat as if it was already built. In the coming time, the design of the boat wrap is evaluated in VR before it is being made. We will also be present during the Eurographics event in Delft between the 16th and 20th of April. Here we will showcase what we do in computer graphics and we will look for new ways to get people engaged with what we create.

Structureel ontwerpen van de boot

Two weeks ago we had our Design Presentation about the new Solar Boat. This year, there were innovations in the deck and hull as well. But how can you be sure, these innovations will not lead to structural problems? Our Structural Engineer, Alexander, knows how! Together with Femto Engineering, he solved this problem. Femto is a company that is specialized in performing Finite Element Analyses. Because Femto is also located in Delft, this resulted in an excellent partnership. From October 2017, Alexander started to model the structure of the hull and deck. Starting with a course at Femto and making simple models of the boat. Later, the models became more accurate and detailed. More load cases were implemented, making the model a better representation of reality. With further guidance from the engineers at Femto, everything was modeled on time and correctly. It soon became clear that less weight would no longer be the result of more iterations about the number of layers of carbon. If you can no longer reduce the thickness and density, the surface will have to be reduced. This idea has led to recesses in both the deck and the bulkheads and trusses in the boat. After 10 iterations, we are able to build a larger boat that is just as light as the 2016 Boat!

Ontmoet Paul

Ontmoet Paul,

Paul is geboren en opgegroeid in Wassenaar. Na het halen van zijn VWO, heeft hij een tussenjaar genomen om een Engels cursus te volgen in Malta en heeft hij zijn Wiskunde B diploma gehaald. Dit diploma was nodig om te kunnen beginnen aan de Bachelor Industrieel Ontwerpen in Delft. In zijn eerste jaar is hij bij de grafische ontwerp commissie van Studievereniging i.d gegaan.

Met deze skills heeft Paul zich aangemeld voor het ontwerpen van de wrap van de 2017 boot. Hierna was hij zo enthousiast over het Solar Boat Team, dat hij besloot om bij het 2018 team te gaan. Ondanks dat het zo vroeg in zijn studie is, vond Paul het belangrijker deze kans te pakken dan zijn tweede jaar Industrieel Ontwerpen te voltooien.

Dit jaar is Paul de Exposure Manager van het team. Naast het managen van het team, houdt hij zich bezig met het organiseren en benaderen van evenementen zoals de afgelopen Design Presentatie, het grafische ontwerpen van promotiemateriaal en alle andere manieren hoe het team in contact komt met de rest van de wereld.

Ondanks dat deze functie full-time is, probeert Paul zo veel mogelijk vakken van zijn studie te volgen. Daarnaast houdt hij van ontwerpen en ondernemen. Wanneer er een gat te vinden is in zijn agenda, vult hij dit met relaxen of city-trips!

foto van TU Delft Solar Boat Team.

Diverse tasks in a diverse year

It has been a couple of months since my last blog, and we have not been standing still in this time. So, there is a lot to talk about.

Last weeks, we, as the TU Delft Solar Boat Team, have been focusing on the production of the body and deck of the boat. Our production does not occur in the Dreamhall, where most other teams build their vehicles or products, but all the way in Overijssel. The size of our boat simply makes production in the Dreamhall impossible. Each week a group of five or more devoted Solar Boat team members go to Rondal, a large shipbuilding company in Overrijsel, where we have are own “little” corner to do our work. “Little”, compared to the large cruise ships Rondal usually works on themselves.

The group of students selected to go to Rondal changes week to week. Only the 3 students responsible for the production of the boat – there is one department dedicated to producing the deck and body – go to this magical place every week. The other 2 to 4 that tag along to Rondal could be any of the students from the other departments.

Halfway this production period, so about three weeks ago, I was selected as one of the chosen ones. I got to help the hull & body department with the boat production. As a person with two left hands, I wasn’t too confident about the week. The first thing that caught my attention, was the amount of work we were supposed to do in those five days. Things needed to happen rapidly and accurately; two things that don’t go hand in hand most of the time. Especially since most of the things we had to do there, were completely new to me and the others.

Although I thought it would be impossible, we reached our goals within the deadline for that week. What I found even more unbelievable, was that I was able to be of good help. I really learned a lot throughout the week, and was quite useful most of the time, though I say so myself.

What that week has shown me, is that even if you think you are not good at something, you have an entire team supporting and helping you, which makes the unthinkable, thinkable. Furthermore, I hope this shows you that working in a Dreamteam like this, can really broaden your abilies and knowledge by getting to help in many different ways.

I hope this gives you another little behind-the-scenes of what we as a “Dreamteam” do in just one year, and that this year can be as varied as you want for you as an EWI student.



Hulp bij het vinden van de juiste draaistukken

Dit jaar doen wij mee aan de Solar Sport One competitie, een wereldwijd klassement voor zonnebootraces. In 6 races wordt bepaald welk team de beste combinatie heeft van boot en team in lange-afstandraces, sprints en slalom.

Om deze raceonderdelen te winnen moet de boot drie essentiele kwaliteiten bezitten: Efficientie, manoeuvreerbaarheid en betrouwbaarheid. Tijdens het ontwerpproces probeert het team zonder compromissen oplossingen te vinden voor de uitdagingen die zij tegenkomen. Een duidelijk voorbeeld is de achterstrut, een complex onderdeel onder de boot. Dit onderdeel herbergt een aantal subsystemen van de boot (aandrijfassen, koeling en vleugelactuatie), moet compact en gestroomlijnd zijn en moet kunnen roteren. De laatste vereiste vraagt zorgvuldig geproduceerde onderdelen om juiste toleranties te behalen terwijl zo min mogelijk materiaal, dus massa moet worden gebruikt.

Het TU Delft Solar Boat Team heeft hierbij hulp van de kennis van de sponsoren. Na het voorleggen van deze ontwerpuitdaging aan onze partner Soltegro wisten zij ons verder te helpen. Het team werd in contact gebracht met een expert op het gebied van productie van draaistukken om de verbinding tussen boot en strut tot in detail uit te werken. Na overleg met Dirk Nootenboom van Machinefabriek Nootenboom kwam er een ontwerp dat tot 30% lichter was dan voorheen. Dit brengt een winst in efficientie met zich mee, wat hard gaat meetellen in wedstrijden waarbij het verschil tussen winst en verlies minimaal kan zijn.

Inmiddels is het productieproces in volle gang en met Soltegro bereiden wij ons voor op de komende maanden, waarin de boot raceklaar wordt gemaakt. Samen met Soltegro en onze andere partners zullen wij dit jaar de winst pakken!