Blog 1: October 8 2019

Only five more days to go until the start of the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge!

Yesterday, today and tomorrow the various teams need to undertake static scrutineering which means they are tested on safety, weight, electric performance to name a few to ensure that all cars are roadworthy, safe, and abide by BWSC regulations.
Some cars need to represent their car at certain inspection stations if they fail to pass and are given the chance to fix the problem.

Photo by Bart van Overbeeke

Check out the competition

This event also offers a good opportunity to check out the competition and see who built what and how they seem to be performing. The next event is dynamic scrutineering that involves a hot time lap that will determine who takes pole position, a bit like Formula One racing except the teams perceive this rather a challenge than a race.

The strategy guys from Solar Team Eindhoven think at least the following teams will be their competition during this edition of the BWSC; the Australian team SunSwift, Cambridge University with their car Helia, Italian team Onda Solare, German team from Bochum and Polish team Lodz.
Sunswift, Onda Solare and Cambridge are re-using their car from a previous edition. Cambridge had disastrous previous edition as their car went belly up while Solare won the USA Solar Challenge last year and Lodz the European edition of 2018.

This year Team SunSPEC are the unfortunate ones as their car went up in flames before reaching Darwin, all teams feel for their loss.

Photo by Bart van Overbeeke

New features

Besides reaching the finish line in Adelaide all cars need to score high on both practicality and efficiency. It is no mean feat to drive 3000 km and only be allowed to recharge twice. All energy needed must come from the sun and is depending on the efficiency of the car and its batteries.

Stella Era has autonomous solar parking, can share her energy like a powerbank on wheels and has an app to allow energy sharing and find her back once she solar parked on her own. Sunswift offers airconditioning and Bochum and Lodz also have board computers and wifi.

Meanwhile Solar Team Eindhoven are enjoying their great work space provided by their partner Sitzler, near Hidden Valley where all teams will reside as of today. There is airconditioning, wifi, a workshop and a place to cook and eat together and have their briefing meetings every day.

Chef Marnix cooking a wonderful curry for the team!

Upkeep

Chef Marnix prepared various gourmet dinners including a chicken curry and tacos and already set the menu for the trip to Adelaide. It is no wonder that has been taken care of already as the team boasts many protocols, including a convoy protocol, radio communication, setting up camp, start protocol in the morning during the challenge and many more.

Each briefing meeting provides updates on the weather conditions, who is part of which team (fix, clean, cook, washing up etc), protocols and to-do lists, making sure this team is functioning like a well-oiled machine.

Tomorrow is simulation day where the team will practice all day long in driving in convoy on a single lane road and simulate roadtrains, flat tyres, overtaking, unwanted calls of nature and other unforeseen incidents that may occur.

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