Monday, July 3, 2017

Quick Links: July 3rd, 2017

Some quick news from the past few days:

WSC has officially-officially announced what was posted on Facebook a few days ago: the official teams list is coming out on Thursday, July 6th. That said, ahead of the announcement, we've heard that EAFIT, UKZN, and Solaris are definitely not going to be returning to WSC in 2017. Too bad :(

We've also heard that Goko High School will be returning, and has already completed their car. A reader sent us this photo:

It looks almost exactly as one would expect Goko's 2015 WSC car to look if it were remixed into an asymmetric catamaran. The school certainly has a distinctive style/design language... Given that the rear wheel is in the same sort of pod as the front wheel, I wonder if it has 4-wheel steering? Also of note: It's only 9 solar cells across, whereas the 2015 solar cars were generally wide enough to fit 13 solar cells across. This puts the car in the ~1.3m wide range, which is very narrow (nine 125mm square Sunpower cells would be 1.125m wide with no gaps between them).

TAFE SA also appears to be working on a new car, if their Facebook page is any indication - I missed them in the big June 29th post.

IVE officially unveiled Sophie VI - there are some good photos on their Instagram here and here. The second photo in particular shows exactly how tiny the side windows are - I feel like driving this car will feel like driving from inside an armored bunker. The car is visibly a huge step up in quality from the 2015 car, hopefully that is reflected in the car's performance as well.

Stanford also unveiled their car over the weekend. It's pink!

(image source)
You can see how the driver is set very far back with basically zero rear overhang of the array behind the fairings, and a moderate front overhang. The rear of the car also narrows quite a bit, although there's still a pretty sharp edge from the edge of the array to the vertical side of the car:

Overall the car feels similar in proportions (length to width) to the 2015 WSC cars, just smaller. Speaking of the size, the team also had their old car Arctan on display nearby - you really get a sense of how tiny the new cars with 4sqm arrays are:

smol car and big brother
(image source)
I was there for the unveiling, and managed to snag this photo of the tunnel - this isn't a simple flat underside, there's some special contouring going on under here. Also, I think the non-driver-side fairing is smaller than the driver fairing, in both width and length. Note how the leading edge fairing on the left of the photo is further forward than the one on the right for the photo?

Sundae tunnel
Image source: MostDece CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Finally, all 18 teams showed up bright and early in the morning for the start of FSGP inspection in Texas today, and things seems to be going well. Inspection will wrap up on Wednesday, and then teams will spend 3 days racing on the circuit. Of note, Principia has their new WSC 2017 car Ra X at the track. It's sans-array right now - the team says they have another upper with complete solar array finished already, but didn't want to risk accidental damage here at the track. I think they'll just be running as a demonstration vehicle at FSGP and charging off the wall every night.

Image source: MostDece CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Note the edge of the top array area - rather than blending around straight into the side of the fairing, it bulges outward a bit.

Image source: MostDece CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Like Stanford's car, it's a little shocking how tiny the car is in person - 4sqm is not a lot of array. Ra X is very rectangular in planform, and feels "stubby", for lack of a better word - it's proportionally wider/shorter than the cars of two years ago. It has almost no overhang in front of the fairings, and very little overhang behind.

That's it for now - I'll see you all when the teams list is published in two days

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