Independence Day and Celebrating the American Solar Challenge!

With only days until the race, CalSol has been working in overdrive, and the results are showing in the impressive performance of Zephyr. The team is working all hours of the day and night testing the various systems such as the power distribution box contactors, implementing final touches like the dashboard,  and checking off end-stage features such as the regulations-compliant DMV license (Zephyr will be sharing the highways with everyone else during the cross-country race).

On July 4th, teammates gathered at the Richmond Field Station to honor the American tradition of charcoal barbecues and fireworks (heard over the San Francisco Bay), as well as the CalSol tradition of working past midnight wiring bypass diodes, modifying wheel fairing doors, and fixing remaining bugs and issues with the vehicle. In the past few weeks, tremendous progress has been made as the vehicle materialized from its myriad components. New members have made names for themselves through the long hours, experienced members have kept the team on track, and alumni have taken time out of their already busy schedules to help out with their expertise.

The team working on all three of mechanical components, electrical boards and connectors, and controller board code! The bottom shell and chassis is on the left, and the top shell and solar array is on the right.
The team working on all three of mechanical components, electrical boards and connectors, and controller code! The bottom shell and chassis is on the left, and the top shell and solar array is on the right.

It’s likely that this will be the last update before the race, as just the logistics and finishing touches are being figured out now. The team is very happy with Zephyr, and we look forward to meeting our competitors soon!

By Viswanath Chatterjee

Hello! I'm Vish, and I've been part of CalSol since Fall 2013, the start of my freshman year. My main focus is electrical, but I have a good deal of mechanical experience (I've had a job at a machine shop, and have built plenty of personal projects since I was little), and should be able to help you out if you need anything technical. I also have experience communicating with companies, so let me know if you'd like help securing donations, finding contacts, etc. If you'd like to contact me, I respond to my e-mail fairly quickly.

Work hard, and have fun!