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back to article Collapsing cranes and cantankerous cars

It's all go here Down Under at the World Solar Challenge, as the rival teams prepare their vehicles to depart Darwin on Sunday, with nothing more than a quick 3,000km drive between them and the finishing line in Adelaide. Our on-the-spot Special Projects Bureau team caught up with a few of the participants yesterday, and this …

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Paris Hilton

I much prefer this NT news story ..

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2008/07/31/4887_ntnews.html

Paris, cos she'd have leant a hand ;)

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

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Keep up.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/31/oz_speeding_driver/

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Boffin

BUGGER

Indeed. Looks like outrigger failure (the usual cause of failures).

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Unhappy

Today its overcast with occasional showers in southern Ontario. I wonder how far these cars would go over here?

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About as fast as the rest of the traffic, if its a normal day on the Gardiner expressway.

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Anonymous Coward

Possibly more concerned about today's headline:

http://www.ntnews.com.au/popup/todays-paper.html

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Pint

Last picture?

Is it just me our does that look like the front is lifting? ahem, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to design the car like a big wing.

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They all primarily symmetrical to me...

I wonder if there would be some mileage in considering an asymmetrical vehicle - like a racing sidecar motorcycle - which has two wheels in line and one out to one side. It might be possible to reduce the frontal area compared to the vehicles with three wheels each on its own track. Of course such a vehicle would have the normal steering eccentricities of its parent - turns one way when accellerating, the other way when braking - but it only adds to the entertainment...

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>> Of course such a vehicle would have the normal steering eccentricities of its parent - turns one way when accellerating, the other way when braking

Actually it wouldn't if the "outboard" wheel were driven as well as the inboard one. The reason a motorcycle and sidecar combination does what you describe is because it's one wheel drive - with the driven wheel offset from the centre of gravity (CoG). Make the drive match the relative positions of wheels and CoG and it would drive normally.

On the other hand, I;ve been wondering about the inclination of the sun, and whether there is any scope for improved orientation of the panels towards it. Probably not as the additional complexity (and weight) would probably be more of a hindrance than you'd gain.

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> actually it wouldn't

Pedant alert eh...

You're always going to have asymmetric performance in an asymmetric vehicle. Cornering is especially amusing. Outfits with driven wheels still have similar effects, if less marked. But in this particular case, where performance and low drag is key, it would be crazy to add the extra weight and complexity of double driven wheels, compensated brakes and all the rest of it...

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There's plenty of work going on with that sort of thing

Here's an example link for clever load control of solar panels

http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1824&appnote=en536175

Tracking the sun across the sky with servos and stuff would probably be a gain as well

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Holmes

Actually, with electric vehicles it's easy to have all-wheel-drive - at least in terms of weight penalty, because the motors can be in-wheel and all you need is to get power to them and some feedback. Compared to a mechanical system of gearboxes, shafts, transferboxes, diffs etc, it's a piece of cake.

If only they could sort the whole battery-capacity/re-charge time thing...

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Thumb Up

NT News

The NT News could well overtake the Irish Daily Star as my favourite newspaper. Top stuff!

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Coat

"Hidden Valley Motor Sport Complex"

... obviously not very well hidden if they've built a motor sport complex there...

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Go

@Simon Hobson & JimC

Look at some of the vehicles in earlier races, it's all been tried: inclined panels, rolling tunnels (?) asymmetric sidecar-like designs. They seemed a wee bit unstable.

I'd already feel a bit unsafe in a car that is essentially a Reliant Robin Roadster with 2 ping-pong tables strapped to the top traveling at 70 mph. Now think of those being tilted sideways...

The first lump of dried platipus poo on the road would probably make you briefly advertise your presence to the oncoming 4-trailer road train.

Maybe I'm just a wuss.

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Bronze badge

Still waiting for a picci of Drew in a gold lame number, or other cross-dressing shocker. Otherwise, excellent effort!

I'm more than surprised at the complexity of these machines! Other than some simple mechanical linkages and a power controller, what more is needed? Also, given the nature of the course (straight as an arrow for more than a megakilometer), is there truly a need for a steering mechanism?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

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Ok, as in Drewcilla Queen of the desert?

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It's wonderful

The British one appears to be mostly made of string.

Good luck Durham, but next time please make sure you're photographed smoking boffin pipes.

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Happy

Durham University Solar Car Veolia WSC Progress

If want to know more about Durham Universities Solar Car or you want to keep updated with the teams progress visit:

www.dur.ac.uk/dusc

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Happy

Durham University Solar Car Veolia WSC Progress

For more information on the Durham University Solar Car team and there current race progress visit:

www.dur.ac.uk/dusc

Also yes Mike, mostly string and glue! :)

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