The tape was problematic. In order to keep SCU’s entrant in SMUD’s California Solar Regatta powered, the electrical wiring connecting the watercraft’s solar panel and motor needed a wiggle now and then. “That’s not really user-friendly,” Taylor Mau ’18 says. “We didn’t want to do that.” With just 48 hours to race time, Mau found a connector to replace the tape 48 hours before the race. The team had already designed a rotating frame for solar panels to most effectively capture the sun—and controlled with a chain, gear, and cog. The California Solar Regatta endurance race required the boat to traverse a reservoir. Team member James Wang ’19 says the solar-powered catamaran could make it to Hawaii. With the wiring and other design issues nailed down, SCU placed fourth in the race.
READ MORE: Matt Morgan’s feature story