Saturday, September 30, 2017

Quick Links: September 29th

I've been super busy with work and next week looks just as bad, so rather than the usual long-form team by team update, here's a brief post with some quick links.

Scientific Gems has been keeping his map up to date. The vast majority of the teams are in Darwin at this point, and the rest are all enroute from points south (with two exceptions: I don't know where Siam Tech's or Tehran's cars are). Here's a really, really brief location update for the teams:

In Darwin

Nuon, PunchTwenteJUSonnenwagenBlue Sky, and Eindhoven have all been testing on the Cox Peninsula. 

Antakari, AUSRT, WSU, UiTM, DUEMMDH, NIT, Neul-Hae-Rang, Principia, Goko, RVCE, ANU, ITU, Kookmin, Kogakuin, SunSPEC, Flinders, Arrow, IVE Sophie, Lodz, UNSW, Minnesota, and Illini all have their cars in Darwin and have settled into their pit bays at Hidden Valley. I'm not 100% on Mississippi Choctaw, but I think they have as well.

Minnesota may be heading out on the Cox Peninsula at some point to do some road testing; I'm not sure about any of the other teams at Hidden Valley.

Tokai has arrived in Darwin after traveling north from Adelaide. I'm not sure if they were test driving the car, or just hauled the car north in the trailer - they didn't post any photos of the car driving while en-route. I'm also not sure if they're going to test on the Cox Peninsula, or set up in a garage at Hidden Valley.

NWU has their car somewhere in Darwin, but not in Hidden Valley. Portions of the team appear to still be traveling north to Darwin.

In The Outback

Michigan has completed a second, shorter mock race in South Australia and is now heading north for Darwin. At this point I think they've spent 12 days doing mock race stuff in the outback - about two and a half WSC's worth of time.

CUER has been testing in the outback, and has finally received their canopy.

Stanford has packed the car up after completing testing in SA and is in transit to Darwin

Iowa State has finished testing in the Outback and is currently enroute to Darwin

Bochum has completed their repairs in Coober Pedy (aided by several other teams) and is on the way to Darwin. The rain in the outback looks really nasty...

(image source)

TAFE SA has departed for Darwin, and Apollo is on the way as well.

Location Unsure???

Siam Tech's team is definitely at Hidden Valley, but their car is conspicuously missing from their video, and I unfortunately don't speak Thai... I haven't seen their car in anyone else's photos from Hidden Valley either.

Tehran shipped the car a while back, and posted a video of it driving from before it shipped, but I don't know the current wherabouts of the team or car.

Other News

Nuon reports that they have an entire battery pack's worth of cells that are up for grabs if any teams have having last-minute trouble with battery pack shipping - and it sounds like that's a situation that at least a few teams are in, yikes!

Weather: Bochum and CUER aren't the only teams talking about the weather; I've heard similar news from Stanford and Michigan. Every solar car race is affected by the weather, but it could be a larger factor than usual at this year's WSC. A rainier race may negate some of the possible advantages of the multi-junction arrays and monohull cars...

Unfortunately, I won't be making it down to Australia before the race to cover inspections like I did in 2015. I'm going to be really busy with work next week as well, so I might not have too much time to scour the teams' social media, either. There's a lot of activity on the Facebook discussion group; definitely the place you should be reading for up-to-date information. This Twitter list that I put together is another good thing to bookmark, as is the #BWSC17 hashtag.

will make it into Adelaide a few days before the finish line, and hope to intercept the leaders somewhere around around Coober Pedy - so keep an eye out for some good finish line coverage from here and on Twitter.


  1. The rumour mill suggests that Siam Tech may not have received their car yet.

  2. Why would monohull cars be less advantageous in the rain. If they had a lower CdA, wouldn't their set speed be less affected by a drop in power in?

    1. Power expended due to rolling resistance goes up approximately linearly with velocity; power expended due to aerodynamic drag goes with V^3. So at lower speeds, aerodynamic drag ends up a lower proportion of overall drag.

      For a Challenger car at 100kph, aerodynamic drag is over 90% of the total drag. Around 50kph, it's perhaps 75% of the total drag. Below 30kph or so, aerodynamic drag drops so much that only about half of the drag on the car is due to aerodynamics (the other half is rolling resistance). So if the race is cloudier and slower, a lower CdA is still an advantage, but it's a less significant advantage overall.