Iowa State University (ISU) students involved with Team PrISUm recently experienced more delays with their solar car, as they needed to complete roadside electrical repair throughout the second day of the American Solar Challenge.
The solar racing car quickly stopped when it was driving up a hill in Indiana and would not move at all.
“An electrical relay was clicking and the next thing we knew the car was fully dead,” Matt Goode, the team’s project director and a senior from Coggon who’s studying materials science and engineering, said.
The American Solar Challenge lasts a total of eight days and covers 1,800 miles. For the challenge, the students design and build their own solar cars.
To repair the car, the students tried to use their soldering equipment, but that didn’t work. Eventually, they rolled the car downhill. While parked at a fire station in Aurora, Indiana, the team spent two hours fixing the power board on the car.
After that, the trailer the team uses to carry supplies and store the car overnight also stopped working. The axle bearings were out on one side. Eventually, this problem was resolved with help from another team at the University of Michigan.
With the repairs complete, the team raced up the hill and finished the day.
“We were cruising at 60 mph, the speed limit on most of the roads,” Goode said.
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