Solar Car Update - hvhssolarcar-l
Hutt Valley Solar Power Car Team - Solar Car Update - hvhssolarcar-l
I must firstly apologise for the lack of updates from the team whilst we have been in Australia. The logistics of sending email were harder than imagined.
The race results are on www.wsc.org.au and should soon be on the team website.
As you have probably heard from the press in New Zealand or the official event site, the Hutt Valley High School Solar Car Team was forced to withdrawal from the World Solar Challenge.
Whilst we were transporting the solarcar on a trailer from the bottom of the Hayes Creek Hill to the next open control stop on the race route (as per newly developed race rules involving trailering), an accident occurred involving the main support of the cars solar array. Unforseen stress was placed on the attachment as it travelled at 100kmph on the trailer. This, combined with slowing down in the town of Katherine, broke the main array support. This resulted in the severing of wires on the inside of the pole, which in turn short circuited the cars 12 volt electrical system. The teams problems were compounded by the short circuit creating an electrical fire at the broken wing attachment and another attachment. The fire, although contained, caused further damage to the cars carbon fibre solar array. It was rapidly extinguished. These were the main factors involved this incident although many other factors also played a roll in damaging the array.
The team initially deemed the problems repairable and proceeded to the Dunmarra media/control stop.
Part way there the call was made to remove the array from the car to prevent further damage being sustained during transit. The array and its attachments were removed from the car and placed on the secondary support vehicle. The solarcar remained on the trailer.
Analysis of the situation at the Dunmarra control stop that night led the team to the conclusion that the array could not be reattached to the car in a way which would defiantly maintain the stability of the car during the remainder of the race. The main concern was that the car was to run only 2-5 feet from road trains travelling in the opposite direction at over 120kmph. Road testing in Australia prior to the race showed only a small amount of instability when passing road trains as did the leg of racing to Hayes Creek. However the team had no way of testing the stability once it had been repaired without just running it past road trains on the open highway. This was therefore not deemed an option as it risked the health and safety of the driver.
The team decided to attempt to run the car the remainder of the race off its battery reserves, with the intention of substituting new batteries in when the old batteries ran out. The stability of the car when run in this way had been tested in New Zealand prior to the teams departure. Unfortunately the team was unable to arrange insurance for the car during the period needed and thus the call was made that the car could not be run in this way due to the liability in case of an accident.
The team has since proceeded south to complete the journey to Adelaide with the support vehicles, and to complete the formalities of the race over the next few days.
Most teams now have their cars on display at Torrens Parade Ground in central Adelaide, with their technical team members explaining how their cars work and what gives them their competitive edges.
The team is secluded to return on December 2nd aboard a RNZAF Hercules. Further information on this flight can be obtained from the RNZAF.
The entire team wishes to thank our sponsors and supporters.
Some members of the team have already begun planning a New Zealand Solar Car Team for the 2003 or 2005 race, and others are investigating the possibly of a Solar Cycle entry into the 2003 race. So keep your eyes pealed for updates on these as well as more from New Zealand's first secondary school solar car team- the HUTT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL SOLAR CAR TEAM.
Thank you New Zealand!
Ps. Photos of the teams epic adventure will be posted on the teams
over the next week or two. www.solarcar.org.nz
TV1's Assignment covered the race expects to screen the footage on Dec
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