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Posted on 05-10-2017
After more than a 1000 soldered connections, our solar panel is finally done. The next step is to put it out in the sun to see if it actually works. Are we really getting energy through the solar panel and will we be able to race? This is unbelievably exciting for us. There is so much time, effort and money in this panel, we don’t have another option if this doesn’t work!?
There is just one little problem, to test if the panel works, you need a battery. And guess what we still don’t have? Exactly. The two alumni who flew to Australia last weekend found a solution however. They took some old car batteries and made a lead battery to fit in Nuna. With this we could put the solar panel outside and test is for the first time. We already fixed some of the mistakes out of the many connections so this was helpful.
Hereafter we have placed the solar panel on Nuna with the lead battery. This means there is a solar panel on Nuna so she looks completely finished! We are now making sure everything fits perfectly and finishing some final systems so the drivers will be able to open the solar panel themselves whilst getting out of the car. We are even going to practice this tonight so on Friday during our testing this will happen as smooth as possible.
Next to the fact that people are working on Nuna, there are a few people mainly sitting behind their computer. Two of them are our strategists. Now they are reading papers to dig deeper into the strategy material at hand. It is never too late to learn something new right before the race to make sure we can determine the energy in the battery even more precise. With this, we determine the optimal speed during the race. Because faster isn’t always better…
Furthermore, we are trying to have some relaxation occasionally in the form of sports! Last Monday we’ve started our soccer tournament against Nightcliff Primary School. You would think, these students are a lot bigger than most preschool kids are, but there are a lot more factors that come into play. We are not used to playing in this heat, and wow. This is so extremely tiring.
Other than that, we have been working on building a solar car for the last year and a half very extensively and for the most of us, this means at cost of our fitness.
However, you know us, anything to win. We don’t give in easily and after a very intensive game the score was 3-3. Too bad, but perfect conditions for a rematch next week!
While I’m writing this, we receive a phone call behind me. After all the drama to get our battery into Australia, we’ve been trying for over a week to get it from Sydney to Darwin. The past couple of days were full of: “no, the battery is somewhere on the truck”, “It will take a couple more days”, “The battery is on the truck, but the truck is broken”, “The battery is at customs but, we can’t give it to you”.
The phone call taking place behind me is different. “Come and get it.”
… What?! YESS! So I’m going to jump into the car right now and pick up our battery to bring it to Nuna as soon as possible.
The doom scenario that we would have to postpone our first Australian test day, again, because of not having a battery, suddenly looks a bit brighter. If we would work straight for the next two days, we could actually make this!