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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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Student Blog 22 Oct

The team is getting used to early starts whether they like it or not, and the last two days were no exception. Thursday was scrutineering day and the team was awake at the crack of dawn to collect the car and bring it to the Darwin showgrounds. That's a bit of a lie, actually. We were told to get up at the crack of dawn, and did, but found that only a few of us would be needed, while the rest stayed back at the hotel and complained that we could have slept in.

Anyway, the scrutineering process is where teams hoping to compete in the Global Green Challenge bring their cars to be put under intense scrutiny by collections of officials. These officials ensure that the vehicles are in compliance with the long list of rules and regulations for as fair and safe a competition as possible. For example, the size of the array is measured to ensure it does not exceed six square metres, the electrical system is checked to make sure it can be turned off quickly in an emergency, and the battery boxes have very technical cable ties and string put through them, which will be checked in Adelaide to prevent any ideas we might get of tampering with the batteries.

The whole process took a few hours and at the end, Hammerhead fell largely in line with the rulebook. The only faults the scrutineers found were with the brake lines coming into contact with the body, solved with a few cable ties, and the batteries which could not be isolated (turned off) by the driver. The officials recommended we install a battery contactor, a very expensive, complicated and difficult to install piece of equipment, not to mention that there are hardly any available in Darwin that will work on the DC current our car uses.

Mr. Beattie, Mr. Morgan and Doug spent a few hours running around Darwin's industrial area looking for one of these devices, fruitlessly. Mr. Morgan then piped up with the idea of attaching a bit of rope to two circuit breakers that the driver can pull in an emergency. We are going ahead with this plan, and will justify our decision with the K.I.S.S. principle when we show the scrutineers again.

Meanwhile at Hidden Valley, more adjustments are made to bring the car up to standard and make sure all components are properly lubricated and working as they should. The temperature is a hot and humid 36 degrees (as usual), but thankfully an afternoon breeze had come to relieve us. Clearly more teams had problems at scrutineering, since more and more teams returned to Hidden Valley. The highlight of the afternoon was rival team Willetton Senior High School arriving at the track (finally) and doing laps only half an hour after arriving. Their car looks very simple, a few extremely heavy solar panels attached to a chassis I guess they've stuck to the K.I.S.S principle too.

- The Team

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tip: Read/study/apply the rules before entering any race, saves the fruitless running around. ps try fishing wire line and crimp berrels - looks alittle better than rope!