Thursday, September 7, 2017

Quick Links: September 7th.

A new rev of the WSC regs was posted on September 1st - check them out here. Glancing over the changes, it looks like mostly semantics/clarifications, but nothing substantial. They closed a lot of passive-voice loopholes. For example, look at the wording of the rule about occupant water:
  • 2.16.2 in V1.1 (30 June 2016): "Provision must be made for each solar car occupant to have at least two litres of drinking water available at the beginning of each day and when departing each control stop."
  • 2.16.2 in V2 (1 September 2017): "Each solar car occupant must have at least two litres of drinking water in the solar car at the beginning of each day and when departing each control stop."
The new wording is much clearer in plain english; direct and to the point with no wiggle room.

Michigan has arrived in Australia and is settling into their workspace in Adelaide. Presumably they are preparing for a mock race heading north to Darwin.

Nuon has finished their team roadtrip north from Adelaide and received their car in Darwin... but not their battery. With time running short, they're attempting alternate ways of getting their battery shipped, and at the same time getting new components shipped to Darwin in order to construct a new battery on-site. Eindhoven is having similar issues with their battery shipping. This is not an uncommon occurrence with international battery shipping: readers may remember that Michgan also had battery shipping issues in 2015 and had to build a completely new battery in Australia a few weeks before race. MIT had similar shipping issues and had to build a new battery hours before the race in 2011.

It seems like a lot of teams are having trouble with shipping, and Singapore in particular seems to be a common problem area. Sonnenwagen Achen is having trouble in Singapore, and ITU may be  having trouble shipping as well.

Twente also apparently had some shipping issues, but it seems like it has been resolved - the car made it through customs in Sydney, and the car should be in Darwin very soon.

Bochum is unpacking their container. It contains everything (including the battery!) other than the car itself, which is current in Kuala Lumpur.

Punch's team members have arrived in Darwin and have received their car from customs.

CUER is picking up rental cars and setting up workspace in Adelaide. The car is due in next week.

Illini's solar car is due to arrive in Australia next week, and the team will follow soon after.

Iowa State shipped their car this week, as did SunSPEC and Siam Tech.

WSU has been testing their car this past week.

Tokai has been getting a lot of press, now that the car is unveiled. In this video on their Facebook, you can see just how short the wheelbase is. There's an article with a good testing video here, and another article from Car Watch with a bunch of great photos here. I wish I had detailed photos like this of all of the cars! Earlier I though I saw that their car had 4-wheel steering, but we can easily see in this photo that the links are just static toe adjustment.

Is Principia trying to pull a Punch-style fast one on us with their solar array? Poking through car dimensions for this post, I noticed that their car is actually *smaller* than Punch's car. However, the array inset visible here sure looks like it's shaped for a silicon array, and the wiring cutouts look like they're spaced for large silicon modules. 4sqm of array on a car with a 5.41sqm planform is definitely plausible, and unlike Nuon and Punch's gallium-array catamarans, Principia's car is very rectangular.

ANU may be having some last minute problems finishing their car - we'll see how it's turned out on the 19th.

UiTM pushed their unveiling back to Sept 9th. The car is almost entirely complete - I've seen long videos on Instagram (including test drives), but those are mobile only - and "ephemeral", anyway, so linking to it would be pointless even if I could...

Finally, this week's fun is courtesy of ANU.


  1. Think you are getting a bit excited. Check the date stamp.


    1. Oh, by the way, I just found this


    2. Arg. Can't change the link but at least I can fix the title, sigh...

    3. That's better.

      It strikes me as odd that teams still have so much trouble with battery transport. I understand the dangers involved but, with the way EVs are developing, moving batteries can hardly be uncommon nowadays. Surely it is time that internationally accepted protocols were in place rather than having to "find a pilot who will allow the battery on their plane".

      It won't be much help to teams with issues
      en-route to Australia but, purely down to timing, you may have missed Chris Selwood's reply to ITU's post re customs.


    4. The shipping problems threaten the entire race. It seems that the safest option might be to make two batteries, and ship one by sea.

  2. Maybe we should suggest to the WSC org to open a portal where teams can share their shipping experiences, tips and tricks. Probably their is also the matter of just bad luck, but it looks a far bigger problem now than ever before.
    And still some teams seem to have shipped and received their batteries without any serious trouble . . .
    I fear for those teams who still have to begin shipping unless a working common channel appears from this situation.