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Saturday October 31, 2015 at 1:24 pm
Clenergy Team Arrow has been the first Australian team to cross the finish line at the week-long World Solar Challenge, racing to an end on Saturday October 24.
Finishing 8th overall the Arrow1 GT, which pre-qualified as the fastest challenger class solar vehicle for 2015, ran out of charge just outside of Adelaide – but Clenergy Team Arrow is very impressed with the performance of the vehicle, and the team.
“We were able to improve our time from the last World Solar Challenge and had no major dramas, which shows just what we are capable of as a team,” said Arrow1 driver and team marketing representative, Amy Gunnell. “For many it was their first Solar Challenge and I think I speak for everyone when I say we’ve made some friends for life.”
No serious problems were experienced throughout the race with the car’s systems performing as expected. The overall comradery across all the teams was strong with much sharing of stories, advice, technology and anticipation for the next challenge ahead.
Mechanical Specialist on Team Arrow, Alexander Ward, shares just one of many insights to the pace, determination and challenge involved in the race. “One of the exciting stories we shared happened on the second night of the race. It was almost one in the morning and we were camped not far from Barrow Creek control stop. The mechanical team had spent hours changing tyres, balancing wheels and checking over the car when we discovered the disintegrated remnants of the protective sheath for the motor cable. We knew immediately this had to be fixed. The wire insulation would have been very likely to fail the next day, leaving us to perform a hasty motor change on the side of the road. We were also aware that we couldn’t work for much longer, with sunrise in five short hours. After waking our team manager, we decided to make a few modifications to the design of the protective sheath. This required us to wake up our 3D printing specialist, who was more enthusiastic about the post-midnight project. He sprang into action to redesign and reprint the part, then we re-installed the motor wheel. This allowed us to set off on time with our newer and more reliable car.”
Clenergy TeamArrow is also honoured to receive the Achievement award of the International Solar Car federation on Sunday at the Award Ceremony in Adelaide. The team is now looking forward to developing the next vehicle with a strong vision about where it wants to be in 2017, including the move a new facility later this year.
The sponsorship of TeamArrow for this year’s challenge has been indicative of Clenergy’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gasses through sustainable transportation, innovation, team spirit and local support.
Since commencing in 1987 the inaugural World Solar Challenge has been completed 11 times with contestants from around the world from students to large corporations. The World Solar Challenge will return to Australia in 2017 to continue evolving, testing and and promoting solar powered vehicles.