Since our arrival this Tuesday, we have been hard at work to get B-7 ready for testing on Australian roads. In the past, we’ve always tested our solar vehicles in Canada and arrived in Darwin just in time for the WSC events to start. This year, we recognized that there are invaluable advantages for testing in Australia because of the very different climate (35+ degrees) takes a while to get used to for the solar car drivers as well as the crew members.
Due to shipping regulations and convenience, we had to disassemble many parts of B-7. The 21kg of lithium ion batteries on B-7 had to be disconnected and packaged individually to ensure safe transportation. The brake fluids had to be drained and anything that might come loose were taken off as well. After we picked up the car on Tuesday, we first checked for any signs of damage. Luckily, the only repair we had to perform was the lexan cover of the rear view camera which came loose during transportation.
Then, we launched right into the more important tasks of getting B-7 to driving condition. The electrical team re-assembled the battery box and re-connected the entire electrical system. The mechanical team bled the brakes with new brake fluid, re-aligned the suspension and fitted our newly machined rims for the Michelin tires. There are also many miscellaneous tasks for performance improvements such as making the top aerobody weather-proof and fix the small scratches and dents on the vehicle wrap.
Here we would like to express a special thanks to B&B Steel Fabrications and Auto Solutions NT. Both machine shops have helped the team with metal work that we don’t have the proper tools for. Thank you Terry, Gaeme, Brad & Cody for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us!
After 5 days of hard work, we have completed all of our goals. Next step: inspection by the Northern Territory Road Authority!
On Thursday night, we enjoyed a visit to the local night market. Team favourite has been the paella (fried rice with seafood)