Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

SolarFox: Second day's racing

SolarFox, like all the solar cars competing, has a battery pack on board to help even out the peaks and troughs in supply and demand of power throughout the race. We are allowed to carry 30kg of Lithium-polymer/ion cells (which have very high energy capacity for their weight and so are often used in laptops and mobile phones). The car starts the race with the cells fully charged but once started, can only top them up using the solar array (A race organiser travels with each team and has to sleep with the batteries in case anyone attempts to charge them using illegal means). The team can use the power stragecially, and this is what we did on the first day of racing - consuming 50% of their charge to push us ahead of a weather system that was producing storms and high cloud levels around Darwin. This call fortunately has paid back because on day 2 we entered much clearer weather and were able to run on solar power alone (leaving the battery at 50% charge). We made the Dunmarra control stop (633 km from Darwin) at 14:04, and pitched camp for the night just south of Elliott. The day's running, despite not needing to dip into our valuable battery reserves of power had kept us in our middle field position 10th in the Challenge Class.