2023 Solar Car Challenge - Scrutineering Phase
We lined up outside Texas Motor Speedway before dawn on Thursday, July 13th to begin the check-in and 3 day scrutineering process for the Advanced Classic division solar car that the CCA Solar Car team has entered into this year's Solar Car Challenge. This year, CCA was the very first team in line for check-in. Scrutineering is a solar car term of art, that is sort of a qualifying process to confirm that our solar cars are safe and comply with all the rules.
Once we were able to get our cars checked in and unloaded, we began the three long day process of scrutineering and making refinements to the cars to get them ready for the race. This year, was our quickest ever completion of the scrutineering process, finishing by the end of the 2nd day and being the 3rd team (out of 20) to complete it.
I really enjoyed having my son Jake (CCA '21 graduate) working with me as a Junior Advisor for our team during the race. Jake is one of the co-founding members of the team, 7 years ago and such a valuable asset for the team. He was also joined by Kayson Hergert (CCA '22 graduate) who served as a Junior Advisor. Kayson was a team captain during the '21 and '22 Solar Car Challenges and is also a valuable asset for the team.
One especially new addition to our solar car this year, was a Zero Breeze battery powered air conditioner, which can be seen strapped into our rear compartment along with the associated ducting. This unit was able to lower the cabin temperature overall by ~12 degrees F and blew directly onto the drivers head, where it lowered temperature by 20 degrees! This was a super popular safety and comfort addition that only added 30 lbs of weight to the car. It is safe to say that we plan to continue using it again in future races and from the amount of requests that we received from other teams about it, we believe that we may have started a new trend!
During Media Day, our team fielding a lot of questions from students and advisors who are trying to start a solar car team at their school. It is really encouraging to see how inspired these young students are. The photos below are of the Tarrant County College High School program students who are trying to start a new team.
We had two of our State of Texas Representatives from the Denton County area come out to visit the Solar Car Challenge!
As is our tradition, after our solar car completed the scrutineering process, she had earned the right to have our team sponsor and school decals applied!