Driving began after a fuse blown on our lights board was quickly replaced by electrical team and ended, after an uneventful drive, in Norman, Oklahoma. It is very hot here! We have been spraying our solar array with deionized water, because when the water evaporates it cools the solar cells. Solar cells operate more efficiently at lower temperatures, so we were able to gain some extra power from this effort!
We are currently in second, behind the University of Michigan and followed closely by PrISUm Solar Car. It is still a close race, as the top three finishers from the stage came in within an hour of each other.
Our total elapsed time for this segment of the race was 12:43:47. The next stage of the race is also a two-day stage, beginning in Norman and ending in Overland Park, Kansas. The first day of two-day stages consists of 9 hours of driving, which is a long day for the crew. However, depending on the weather, the team’s target speed, and the length of the stage, the second day usually ends earlier than the first. Our team rolled into an Oklahoma University parking lot in Norman at about 12:30 pm. This allowed us to have time to take naps and time to eat lunch, after charging for half an hour. Teams then charged from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, to keep the race fair.
Thank you to our sponsor of the day, Altium. The team uses Altium to design the schematic and layout of electric printed circuit boards, or PCBs. The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project is proud that almost all of the circuitry on the car is student-designed and student-built. Without Altium, this would not be possible. In addition to designing and building all of their circuit boards, our electrical team writes the software that runs on the microcontrollers and tests their circuitry on the road. Electrical team is what makes the car move! Thank you, Altium!
It was an uneventful day after we began driving, and everyone is pleased with that.
Everyone was pleased with how early we completed the stage, and the ice-cold water that was handed out by the officials.
Arlo and Mitch, electrical team members, got to take a long nap in air conditioning.
We would like to thank both Iowa State University and Western Michigan University for giving us 1 Amp fuses. We are blowing them a lot and are thankful for their generosity, as we are running alarmingly low. Good luck to everyone on the race!