Day 4 Wrap: True Grit
10 Oct 2019
The BWSC is no easy feat.
Teams work for up to 2 years - sometimes more - preparing for this unique adventure. Once the regulations are released, University and sometimes high school students design and manufacturer a solar car, suitable for driving 3,000km through one of the planet’s harshest landscapes.
They must design to specific regulations, and then undergo Static Scrutineering, which holds their cars and their teams to the highet standards.
Then there's the logistics - many teams must pack and send shipping containers full of equipment, camping gear and tools, before they even think about sending a delicate solar vehicle half way across the world. Many teams arrive in Australia well in advance of the Challenge commencing, traversing the route in reverse, camping all along the way. They arrive in Darwin and set up a mobile home, feeding up to 40 or 50 people for each of the day. They work late into the night, and often start before the sun rises. Sometimes they might not sleep at all.
A team can do everything right, and it can still go wrong.
That's unfortunately been the case this past couple of days for some of this year's entrants, who have experienced near Challenge-ending situations.
While testing on the track, Vattenfall Solar Team's car ended against the wall, damaging the side of the car and causing a small crack in the winglet. The team pulled an all-nighter last night, and were back on the road testing this afternoon.
JU Solar Team also had an accident while testing. Thankfully no one was hurt in this accident either, but their car suffered damages. They've gotten straight onto working hard on repairs, and are hoping for the best.
View this post on Instagram
During our test drive yesterday we had an accident when the solar car spun around and went down the ditch. Thankfully our driver was not hurt but the car suffered some damages. There is some damage to the body and one of the solar cells are damaged as well. We have started reparations and will keep you updated once we have more info. #jusolarteam #BWSC19
Yesterday while testing also, Halmstad University Solar Team experienced a small fire in their battery pack. The team determined that it was not safe to use or try to repair the battery pack, nearly ending their BWSC journey. However, Durham University Solar Team gave up their time to work with Halmstad University Solar Team, who had an almost identical battery from the 2017 BWSC, and help them fix it in time for Scrutineering.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday we had a incident on our 7th testdrive. Mid way through the track, the driver started to smell burnt plastic in the canopy alongside a loud bang from the back of the car. The team took these indications very seriously and decided to stop the solar car and escort the car by truck. After carefull examination of the car, the team unfortunaly found out that there had been a isolation in the batterypack. In other words - a smaller fire. After reconsideration, the Battery Officer together with the Team Manager took the decision that it’s not safe to use or try to repair the battery pack. But in the darkest hour, @duem_electric came to the rescue. They had an almost identical battery from their last @worldsolarchallenge 2017. With the help from Durham solar team and Bridgestone Officials we have been working day and night to get the car ready for the scruteneering. The team managed to do the scruteneering during Thursday with minor issues to fix. The car is still not running but we are humble to the fact that we will fix the remaining issues! HUST will be forever grateful for this truly genuine gesture, our lord and savior Durham! #duem_electric #bridgestoneworldsolarchallenge2019
UiTM EcoPhoton Solar Team's car was stuck in Darwin Port up until Tuesday evening, running into shipping and logistics delays. They finally received their car, working through the night to be ready for Static Scrutineering yesterday. They continue to work hard to be ready for the Challenge start on Sunday.
These are just a few of the stories that demonstrate the true grit displayed by the BWSC Teams in hard times, reflecting their passion and committment to the event.
Static Scrutineering Nears Its End
Scrutineering continued today with the last group of teams presenting, and re-presents from other teams continuing.
Some teams were presenting for up to the third time, but after today there are plenty of Passes across the board. Teams have gone onto complete their Figure 8 Dynamic Scrutineering test, making them ready for their hot lap on Saturday.
Flinders Automotive Solar Team from Flinders University passed, with the team full of excitement and appreciation for the journey ahead. Despite their hard work on their own car, Team Manager Stuart Wildy and the rest of the team are hoping for the best for not only themselves, but all of the other teams as well.
We also saw Ardingly College Solar, Estidamah, Team Arrow and Halmstad University Solar Team undergo Scrutineering today.
The Final Countdown
With Dynamic Scrutineering coming up on Saturday, tomorrow is each team's final full day for testing and last minute fixes. After Dynamic Scrutineering concludes, the teams will be packing up their garages, and preparing for the journey ahead.
While the teams are ultimately in competition for one another, the sentiment around Hidden Valley today has been one of encouragement and support for those teams experiences some challenges. Ask any team, and they'll tell you that the only thing they want other than the success of their own team, is the success of all of the others as well.
The 15th Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place between Darwin and Adelaide, South Australia from 13-20 October 2019.