Updates from the Last Racing Day

It looks like the team is out celebrating right now, so let’s do some Facebook stalking of Ryan to get an idea of what happened on the last race day.  Ryan says:

Just left the port agusta checkpoint and we’re headed to Adelaide on solar power! The sun is so much nicer today (it still exists!) And we’re cruising at an amazing speed of 45 kph on a nearly empty battery pack.

Pictures! (from Australia of course)

Can we get this through customs?

Our good member Ryan has been steadily uploading pictures to Facebook when he gets internet. Unfortunately not everyone has Ryan as a Facebook friend (tragic), but now everyone can see these photos of the team on their Australian adventure. See the full gallery after the break.

World Solar Challenge Media Roundup

Flags are waved at a press event. Image Source: WSC Flickr

Our blog will continue to be the base point for updates on CalSol’s progress. For more on-the-fly updates keep checking in with the team’s Twitter.

As the race continues you can get updates on the race progress from a variety of sources. The World Solar Challenge website is the source for official news, and their Facebook page also shows some of the latest photos and news.  CalSol is our favorite team, but for updates on all of the teams involved http://www.solarwebsite.nl/ is the best source.   Leading up to the race they provided excellent coverage on all of the team’s build progress and they continue to update on the developments in the race (although with a slight preference for the leading teams from the Netherlands).

The map displayed on our front page will show the progress the team makes each day, but to see our live position relative to other teams check out the satellite tracking on the official race dashboard.     They’ve been having some technical difficulties, so I’ve prepared a backup map here.

The World Solar Challenge Flickr is producing a stream of photos.   Photographer Mark Brake also has a nice little collection of images as he follows the race.   Panasonic has a fairly interesting series of videos covering the race and the leading team Tokai.    Our team is taking lots of pictures and some videos as well, so be sure to check back in after the race when they get the chance to upload them.

And They’re Off!

CalSol, the UC Berkeley Solar Vehicle team is finally off on their race across Australia. The teams have lined up and as of 8:30 AM the race has begun.

The team will have fairly limited internet access from here on out. The map we have embedded on our site should update roughly daily as the team uploads their location data. For some real excitement check out the race’s official map showing updates from all of the teams using a satellite tracker. Watching from Berkeley I can see all of the teams streaming out of Darwin right now.

UPDATE: the official race tracker has been down due to traffic overflow, so try out this slightly enhanced “mirror” version I set up instead. When it can’t get up to date data it’ll show you our last known position instead.

Burning Rubber

Check out the latest video from this past weekend!

Solar cars are all about efficiency, but our mechanical team tried some power driving at the station to test the car’s limits; they had a blast!  Then we tested our own stress levels by merging onto a crowded freeway and had an exciting day.

Go Bears!

Thank you Alpha Wire!

Our solar cars serve not just as high efficiency race vehicles, but as advocates for environmentally responsible technology. As such, it’s only fitting to use green materials whenever possible in the construction of the car. We’re very pleased to be able to use Alpha Wire‘s new EcoWire in the construction of our vehicle, Impulse. Not only is this halogen-free wire fully recyclable, it’s also very lightweight, allowing us to keep that competitive edge.   The EcoWire donated by Alpha Wire has allowed us to complete wiring our array and is used in the voltage sense lines for our race battery packs.  We would like to thank Alpha Wire for their support of our team and welcome them as one of our newest sponsors.

Coming Soon to a Road Near You

Our lovely car

Two Saturdays ago we took our car to have the lights and brakes inspected.  Hee Lee, the owner of 700 Auto Service, once again generously performed the inspection for us at no charge.   Passing this test marked the first step in getting our car to be certified as street legal.   Next we took the car to one of the most feared of organizations – the DMV, for the fifth time.   People waiting to pass their driver’s license test were amazed and surprised to see a solar car waiting in line next to them.   We prepared for the worst, but everything went quite smoothly and we are excited to announce we have received a temporary road permit.   This registration will allow us to drive on public roads until September.    Next week we’ll be taking the car to the CHP to get a permanent VIN which will allow us to get our permanent registration and license plates.

CalSol Welcomes Its Newest Sponsors!

We would like to welcome Vicor Corporation and Roving Networks as our newest bronze sponsors, and we’d also like to thank them for their generous donation of DC-DC converters and WiFly modules respectively.

Fun Cal Day Prep Video

The night leading up to Cal Day was a sleepless night for many on the team. Watch as our team worked (and danced) hard through the night as we ensured that all preparations were complete for our big unveiling event. We cranked up the music a bit in this vid, but I’m sure you’ll get to see more of what the team has to say in some of our next videos.

Shell Layup

Laying out the Kevlar on the shell.

Within the last couple of months, CalSol started the cool process that is shell construction and we are happy to report that we have finished the layups for Impulse’s top and bottom shells !   For the past few weeks members have been out to the station essentially every day working to make this a reality.  Let’s describe the process that went into making it so.