ASC 34: The Big Climb


The mountains, Day 5 (picture credits: 1, 2)

Well, we had the “Big Climb” in the American Solar Challenge. The mountains were beautiful, but timewise it was an anticlimax. Michigan and ETS / Eclipse slowed down a little, but some other cars actually sped up! The battles for 1st and 3rd are still quite close, as the chart for Farson shows (click to zoom). The Cruisers seem to be trying to pick up the pace a little.

On an unrelated matter, although the American Solar Challenge is far from over, I’m getting a head start on my personal Gem Awards for the race. The “Solar Car Family Gem” goes to Team 55 (Poly Montreal / Esteban) for the multiple mentions in social media of their helpfulness.

Oh, and the tracker seems to be working again. Here (unchecked and unedited) are night-time positions:


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ASC 33: Road Race Day 4 (part 2)

Although the American Solar Challenge is far from over, I’m getting a head start on my personal Gem Awards for the race. The “Beautiful Background Gem” goes to the National Trails Intermountain Region for its wonderful scenery. Running the race along the Oregon Trail was a brilliant idea!


Tuesday evening, Day 4 (picture credits: 1, 2)

The race chart below is similar to that previously posted, but based on official data to date. A small elevation chart is included at the bottom. The chart is constructed with reference to a theoretical car which drives at exactly 80 km/h all the way. Vertical position indicates how far behind that theoretical car the various teams are (in elapsed-time terms). Penalty minutes are added in at the right-hand side of the chart. Trailered vehicles are shown at the top left. Notice that Western Sydney are only 19 minutes behind Michigan, and ETS/Eclipse only 87 minutes behind Michigan.

In the Cruiser (MOV) class, Minnesota and Onda Solare are both still running well behind the 53.5 km/h required speed (shown by the dashed green line), and so are attracting slowness penalties (per regulation 13.3.A). In fact, Minnesota is below the 45.8 km/h threshold where Cruisers are given a zero efficiency score (dashed pink line). I’m not quite sure what the strategy for these teams is, but both Cruisers appear to be in trouble.

Also, the cars have been climbing, but the big climb is yet to come. Good luck to everybody!


WSC: One more gem award


Penumbra, the solar SUV from PrISUm

A belated “Huntin’ and Fishin’” gem award goes to the to PrISUm team from Iowa State University, for their roomy solar SUV capable of carrying an esky, tackle box, and other fishing gear.


The “Huntin’ and Fishin’” gem goes to PrISUm


WSC: three more gem awards


Interior of the thyssenkrupp blue.cruiser, the car from Hochschule Bochum

My “Sustainability” gem for the World Solar Challenge goes to Hochschule Bochum for their elegant interior, finished with renewable natural products such as pineapple leather, vegetable linens, wood, and cork.


The “Sustainability” gem goes to Hochschule Bochum

 


The car we did not see, Persian Gazelle 4 from the University of Tehran

The “Sexy Car” gem goes to the car we did not see, Persian Gazelle 4 from the University of Tehran. This car was heavily damaged in transit, and was unable to race. It looked beautiful, though, being reminiscent of a Lamborghini Aventador.


The “Sexy Car” gem goes to the University of Tehran

 


Red Shift, the car from Solar Team Twente

Previously awarded was the “Best Solar Car Name” gem, to Solar Team Twente, for their car name, Red Shift. Twente’s car name was a reference to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as well as continuing the naming sequence previously established with their Red Engine (2013) and Red One (2015) – and being a really, really geeky way of saying “eat my dust.” The car was indeed very fast.


The “Best Solar Car Name” gem went to Solar Team Twente


WSC: three gem awards


Nuna9, the car from Nuon Solar Team

It has been my tradition to hand out “Gem Awards” after major solar car races. This WSC, the “Faster Than Lightning” gem again goes to Nuon Solar Team, the undefeated Challenger champions.


The 2017 “Faster Than Lightning” gem goes to Nuon Solar Team

 


Stella Vie, the car from Solar Team Eindhoven

The “Solar Family Car” gem again goes to Solar Team Eindhoven. They completely dominated the Cruiser class.


The 2017 “Solar Family Car” gem goes to Solar Team Eindhoven

 


Western Sydney Solar Team

The “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team, for the way that they welcomed international teams passing through Sydney. Western Sydney Solar Team are, of course, also Australian champions in the Challenger class.


The 2017 “Solar Car Family” gems go to Western Sydney Solar Team


Best WSC car name award


Red Shift, the car from Solar Team Twente

It has been my tradition to hand out “Gem Awards” after major solar car races. This year, I’m beginning rather early, awarding the “Best Solar Car Name” gem to Solar Team Twente, for their car name, Red Shift.

Twente’s car name is a reference to the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as well as being a really, really geeky way of saying eat my dust. It also continues the naming sequence previously established with their Red Engine (2013) and Red One (2015). Good luck for the 2017 World Solar Challenge, guys!


There was strong competition, but the 2017 “Best Solar Car Name” gem goes to Solar Team Twente


WSC: Final Gem Awards

My final Scientific Gems WSC “gem awards” for 2015. The “solar family car” gem goes to Eindhoven, for showing that a family car can still win the Cruiser class.


The “solar family car” gem goes to Eindhoven (team 40)

The “solar car family” gems go to everybody who helped the EcoPhoton team from Malaysia repair their car in Alice Springs – a group that includes several Cruiser class team members, as well as blogger MostDece (and I planned to say this several hours before the WSC handed out an official award for the exact same thing).


The “solar car family” gems go to the people who helped repair Stingray in Alice Springs