Race Update 1

We’ve been a little quiet but very busy! Here are some updates on what we’ve been up to:

September 15 – Horizon departs Toronto for Adelaide via airfreight

Shipping a solar car, tools, and equipment is a big challenge. The shipment crate is custom made and we spend many hours packing and securing the car down to make sure it will survive the 18,000km journey from Toronto to New York, New York to Sydney, and finally Sydney to Adelaide! 

The custom crate that carries the solar car and equipment from Canada to Australia
The custom crate that carries the solar car and equipment from Canada to Australia

September 21 – Advance crew arrives in Adelaide

Four team members, what we like to call the 'advance crew', travelled to Adelaide to sort out some race logistics. The goal was to pick up Horizon and our equipment as well as the rental cars that will act as the support vehicles for the solar car during the race. We also had the opportunity to explore the city. We walked around Victoria Park and even visited the beautiful Brighton beach. Thank you to Brighton Secondary School for providing us with accommodations while in Adelaide!

Brighton beach in Adelaide, SA
Brighton beach in Adelaide, SA

September 24 – Advance crew picks up Horizon and equipment and departs for Darwin

On Sept 24. morning, we arrived at the Adelaide warehouse of CEVA Logistics, the company that managed the transport of our crate from Canada to Australia, and saw Horizon for the first time in a few weeks. We were excited but nervous as the crate was undergoing a quarantine inspection where the authorities checked our tools, equipment, and the car for any organic material. Thankfully, there were no major issues and the car was quickly released to us. We then began our drive up to Darwin. Along the way, we surveyed the race route making note of things like good camping spots, cattle grids, and roadwork. We even saw some kangaroos!

Kangaroo crossing sign along Stuart Highway

September 27 – Race crew assembles in Darwin

After over 30 hours of travelling, the rest of the crew arrived in Darwin. We were very happy to have everyone together. We immediately unpacked our equipment and set up shop so we could begin work on getting Horizon into race condition. Before we can drive on Australian roads, Horizon must be inspected by the Northern Territory Road Authority. Once this is complete, we will start testing.

We'd like to thank Palmerston Senior College for providing us with accommodations and a work space while in Darwin!

Only 18 days until the start of the race... Stay tuned for more!

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First team meeting in Australia

See Horizon on August 7th

With only 80 days until the race, we are putting the final touches on the new car, named Horizon.

The car is nearly complete! The focus for the team is now on mechanical installation. Both the fabrication and mechanical teams are working together to install the rear suspension and front suspension, which will be followed by rack and pinion installation shortly after. The electrical team has completed the battery box, and the array team is ready for array installation. Our car was wrapped in the newly designed wrap last Wednesday.

As we draw close to the end of the two year project cycle, the advancement team is making final preparations for the unveiling of Horizon next Friday August 7th at the Bahen Centre of Information Technology.

Only less than 80 days until the race, all the members are excited to show everyone  our two years of hard work.

B-7 at Phoenix Contact's Energy Event 2015

On May 28th, the team headed to Milton to bring B-7 to one of our sponsors, Phoenix Contact. We were generously invited to take part and present in Phoenix Contact's Energy Event 2015.

For this cycle, Phoenix Contact kindly sponsored us with PCB connectors and connecting wires between different power lines. We used Phoenix Contact connectors in B-7 and found that they were able to maintain functionality and robustness even when exposed to extreme heat and vibration during the 3,000km race in Australia.. These connectors were also manufactured with high quality shielding which resulted in clean, low-noise signals in our testing phase.

At the event, we were also kindly provided with the opportunity to deliver a presentation about the team . Our managing director, Zhe Gong, talked about some of the technical and developmental challenges the team faces throughout the project cycle as well as the success of B-7 at the 2013 World Solar Challenge.

We also had the chance to take out B-7 on a beautiful sunny day and answered some questions about the aerodynamic shape, choice of materials, the design and fabrication processes, and the race.

On behalf of everyone on the Blue Sky Solar Racing team, we’d like to thank Phoenix Contact for their continued support and for having us at the 2015 Energy Event!

B-7 at Phoenix Contact’s Energy Event 2015

On May 28th, the team headed to Milton to bring B-7 to one of our sponsors, Phoenix Contact. We were generously invited to take part and present in Phoenix Contact's Energy Event 2015.

For this cycle, Phoenix Contact kindly sponsored us with PCB connectors and connecting wires between different power lines. We used Phoenix Contact connectors in B-7 and found that they were able to maintain functionality and robustness even when exposed to extreme heat and vibration during the 3,000km race in Australia.. These connectors were also manufactured with high quality shielding which resulted in clean, low-noise signals in our testing phase.

At the event, we were also kindly provided with the opportunity to deliver a presentation about the team . Our managing director, Zhe Gong, talked about some of the technical and developmental challenges the team faces throughout the project cycle as well as the success of B-7 at the 2013 World Solar Challenge.

We also had the chance to take out B-7 on a beautiful sunny day and answered some questions about the aerodynamic shape, choice of materials, the design and fabrication processes, and the race.

On behalf of everyone on the Blue Sky Solar Racing team, we’d like to thank Phoenix Contact for their continued support and for having us at the 2015 Energy Event!

Visit to Crosslink

On May 22nd, three members of the team brought B-7 to our generous sponsors at Crosslink Technology Inc. to thank them for their continued support and generous sponsorship.

Crosslink has been supporting us since 2011 and for this cycle they generously supplied us with epoxy which is crucial to the process of creating our aerobody mold. The epoxy resin is mixed with hardener and then injected into the layers of fiberglass to make a nice and robust mold. This mold is then used to perform the carbon fiber layup which becomes the final part of the car. This whole process would not have been possible without the help of Crosslink !

We were also kindly given a tour of the lab area and the employees explained to us the different departments of Crosslink Technology Inc.. We were introduced to different materials produced by the company. One particularly interesting one was a product called Pecker Patch, which borrows its name from its original use when it was used to patch holes left by woodpeckers. We were also given some cool Pecker Patch merchandise. Thank you Crosslink!

Amir Kharazmi, Advancement Team Member

Thank You 3M Canada

We would like to take a moment to thank 3M Canada for their continued support over the years. 3M’s generous donations have made the fabrication of our 8th generation solar vehicle possible.

In this stage of fabrication, we use epoxy adhesives to stick together different parts of the car. We use 3M Gray Epoxy Adhesive to attach the chassis to the main body of the car. Then 3M Translucent Epoxy Adhesive is used to attach the smaller parts, such as headlights, to the body of the car.

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This stage of the process also requires a significant amount of sanding . To help us with sanding, 3M has provided us with automotive industry quality sandpaper that enables us to get a smooth surface finish. We also need protection from all the dust when sanding and 3M provides us with 8210Plus Respirators . Safety comes first!

The fabrication phase can often be long but it is this stage in the production of the car when you really bond with the car and hence it is one of the most rewarding stages.

On behalf of everyone here on the Blue Sky Solar Racing team, we would like to thank 3M one more time for making fabrication possible!

Amir Kharazmi, Advancement Team Member