tu delft delta solar boat
One of the goals is to participate in the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge again. (Photo: KSAF/M. Bernas)

Hull, electronics, stability, and driveline. The Delft Solar Boat Team will proudly present its new design in the Aula on Wednesday January 25. Nick Borst, technical manager of the team, describes the preparations.


We are the TU Delft Solar Boat Team, one of the Dream Teams established in the D:Dreamhall. The team currently consists of 25 part-time or full-time members. The goal this year is to win the overall Solar Sport One competition. To do this, we need to come up with the best design which is reliable, manoeuvrable, and fast on many levels.

All the decisions in this phase will heavily impact the final design

First, all the requirements, weather conditions, risks and so on need to be collected to design the best vessel. Afterwards, many ideas will be evaluated and the best ones will be chosen. The chosen ideas will be further analysed in detail on costs, materials and so on. All the decisions in this phase will heavily impact the final design and must be selected very carefully. If you want to change a major aspect of the boat, this is the phase to do so.

The parts that need to be designed are divided into four sub-systems: Hull & Body; Electronics; Dynamics & Stability; and Driveline. The team’s engineers are divided among different departments, and each department is responsible for a certain sub-system. Hull & Body is responsible for the layout and the structural design. The electronics department is responsible for the power management, sensors and telemetry. Dynamics & Stability is responsible for the stability and actuation of the boat. Finally, the Driveline department designs the propulsion system of the boat.

The hull production is a long process because of the need to apply many layers of carbon

Finally, when all the concepts of all the sub-systems are known, it is time to make our ideas come to life by implementing it in CAD software. This is where the Detailed Design starts. The right dimensions need to be chosen and interactions between different components seen. We have good relationships with many sponsors who supply us with great ideas, which we can implement to make the best design.


The first part that needed to be finished was the hull shape, since the hull needs to be finished before the other components can be fitted in the assembly phase. The hull production is a long process because of the need to apply many layers of carbon. During this phase, every aspect of the boat will be finalised and the final cost, mass and amount of time for production will be known. When all the sub-systems are finished, they can be installed in a large assembly, which gives the final design.

We encountered many problems in the design phase, but with the good collaboration of the whole team and anticipating certain problems, we were able to solve these quickly. A good design means a faster production, since all the problems are solved at an early stage.

  • Design presentation: January 25, 2018 at 19:00 in the Aula

Nick Borst, technical manager Solar Boat Team