We arrived bright and early at 7AM this morning so that we could undergo our scheduled tests: the electrical system, battery protection system, and driver body/sizing. With the memories of the testing we’d done before this first day of inspection, there was a mixed air of both excitement and anxiety, as we would finally get an idea of what our hard work has come to.
What we didn’t expect was that a thunderstorm would blow in right after noon, right after we’d gone through our electrical systems inspection and come back with a list of things to do. Work slowed as everyone was drenched in the rain and solar cars disappeared under tarps. That didn’t stop the inspection process, however. Through the intermittent showers, the testing schedule continued right on, forcing everyone to make do with the protection gear that they brought.
3 PM rolled around, and we were ready for our battery protection system tests. This system is meant to protect against several different conditions that could cause batteries to catch fire, explode, or otherwise malfunction in ways that we don’t want them to. Thanks to our members’ great work on the system, the tests went all the way through, and we got an “all clear” green on that portion of our inspection sheet!
Driver body and sizing also went fairly well as 4 PM crept up on us. Of note was the egress test, in which drivers had to exit the solar car from a full driving position in less than 10 seconds. All of our drivers beat their personal records today with Jack achieving 7.7 seconds, Alex a 6.6 second egress, and myself (Derek) with a 5.19 second egress.
All in all, we made it through the day all right, especially with the generous help from:
-University of Minnesota: For the nylon pull ply and the spaghetti!
-Principia: For the use of their extra ballast
-Oregon State University: For use of their generator and trailer
Thank you very much to these teams for helping us get through the day and for helping us get closer to passing scrutineering! We hope to be hitting the track soon!