Upcoming Event: Marin County Fair

A quick update: Next week CalSol will be displaying GoldRush at the Marin County Fair as part of the Electric Wheels Car Show. Feel free to stop by the show and check out all the amazing vehicles that will be on display!

Stormy Weather

CalSol stayed up all night working on the car. We made a lot of progress on the electrical system although the continuous rain, thunder and lightning plus a brief tornado watch forced us to pack up our camp and delayed our progress. Despite coping with extreme winds and flooded tents throughout the night, our electrical team was able to resolve a communication error in our electrical system. Unfortunately, other hardware errors still persisted.

Sleep deprived and battered by the weather, ultimately the team decided that our untested battery protection system was not yet ready to cope with the bumps and bruises of an extended track race. After two sleepless nights our electrical team made the heartbreaking decision to pack up their tools and get some much needed rest. When the checkered flag dropped this morning we were not among the six teams that started racing.

The good news is that the race organizers have informed us that they will consider letting us join the race if we can finish the battery protection system and pass dynamic testing. However, even if our electrical problems prove insurmountable we still plan to continue to observe the race and learn from the other solar car teams and expert scrutineers.

Finally, and most importantly, we would like to thank all of our sponsors, the University, our friends and family for their support. Without all of them we could never have made it this far.

Cal Day and Santa Cruz

Thanks to everyone who made the hike up to Etcheverry Hall on Cal Day to check out the new car! It’s always fun when we get to show off our hard work, and everyone on our team was excited by the large turnout and interest in our project. I’d also like to give a shout out to the several CalSol alumni who came over and chatted with us, thanks for stopping by!

If you didn’t get a chance to see our car on Cal Day we will be displaying it again this coming weekend at Soquel High School in Santa Cruz. The team will be presenting the new car to local high school students as part of a program to promote interest in sustainability, science, and engineering in public schools. Check out the event’s flier for more details.

The Array is On!

Last weekend we attached the photovoltaic panels to the shell. It’s pretty exciting to see how much simply adding the panels changes the whole look of the shell. There is still a fair amount of work to do: all the solar panels still need to be wired together and we also need to do some light body work to waterproof the shell and to improve aerodynamics.

Work continues on the trailer. Thanks to the friendly eucalyptus trees near our garage we spent much of Saturday morning washing the roof of the trailer (again) in preparation for painting, but by the end of the day we had finished applying the first coat of shiny blue paint. We plan on adding a second coat next weekend, weather permitting, with decals and the team logo going on in time for CalDay!