The Evening Before the Race

Today was pretty laid back. Some students double- and triple-checked systems, a few napped on the garage floor, still others drooled over Nissan’s super car that did two-minute laps on COTA’s nearly four-mile long asphalt.

Preparation is the key to on-track success. Something seemingly mundane as putting anti-seize compound on your car’s rims, so that on-track tire replacement doesn’t require repeated applications of a large hammer.
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In the meantime, the Miners’ efforts to figure out the downturn in the array’s power paid off. For days it was assumed that a few delicate cell-to-cell connections had broken, but they didn’t want to rule out anything. Ultimately they discovered variations in the maximum power point trackers (MMPTs), a theory confirmed with discussions with other solar power experts on site. Replacements brought the power output to a respectable level. Respectable for an array that for three years has been manhandled, moved, flexed, touched, twisted, poked and prodded, all the things things that aren’t supposed to happen to solar cells.