One of my favorite graph’s at Santa Clara is the one hanging on the third floor by the robotic systems lab. On this graph it charts the level of euphoria against time. The graph is titled “A project.”
On the Solar Decathlon we have a little project too, and like the graph hanging in the robotic systems lab we started at euphoric, dropped to blind hatred, and setlled out at residual tolerance level. Unlike the team that posted the flyer, for many of this, this happens over the course of 24 hours.
Happy: the house was successfully hoisted onto a flatbed truck via a crane. All were delighted that the house had no problems. We all got a two hour break from hard work in order to watch the spectacle.
Blind Raging Hatred: as the truck was pulling out of the parking lot it bottomed out on the steep grade. This forced all the weight of nearly 50,000 pounds onto one axle. Needless to say, this axle bent 6 inches and the truck did not depart on time.
Pseudo-happy-but-also-tired: at about 1 a.m. we finished installing a new axle and retired to bed nursing aching muscles.
Despair: Dr. Hight calls at 7:45 am to say that we have more work to do in order to bolt the house onto the trailer.
Relief: Truck pulls out onto el Camino and disappears.
Then a quick 36 hours later we arrived in D.C. One of the greatest moments of this project was riding the Metro from Reagan to our new home and seeing a giant BP sponsored add declaring that it is “Take your sun to work day” and advising people to come see the Solar Decathlon October 12 - 19.
All is well in the SCU encampent. Many people have arrived and begun logistical planning, many more are eagerly awaiting their turn back home. With every chance to win, optimism has begun to breathe new life into the team.
I for one am honored at the magnitude of what we are about to undertake. No matter where we stand in 20 days, I know that everyone involved in the Solar Decathlon will have some awesome memories to cherish.