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« Evening Repairs | Race Updates Main | Near Photo Finish »


Solar Array Disaster

Tom was back in the car and on his first lap, unbelievably, as he rounded the final turn onto the front straightaway lost the entire top shell of the car. The shell driven by wind gusts was picked up and tossed over the car backwards, landing upside down on the solar array.

Tom was absolutely fine, but for his disbelief at having an accident happen twice in two days. The cause of the problem was traced to the shell latches not having been engaged on the previous pit stop. The top shell and delicate array modules weathered the impact surprisingly well. The right rear corner module was destroyed (matching the left rear from yesterday) and the crest of the shell suffered considerable damage along with the modules in that area.

Borealis II was again brought into the pits for repairs, this time suffering both mechanical and electrical problems due to the rapid and unexpected disconnection of the array from the rest of the car's electronics. Miraculously all the power trackers which regulate the power from the array, were working properly and the array was still outputting a substantial amount of power.

The team, once again, rallied to make repairs smoothly and efficiently, putting the car back out on track in just over 50 minutes.

2004-05-21_crash


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