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Transportation Issues Challenge Teams on the Second Day of Assembly

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

By Richard King

On the second day of assembly, everyone seems to be settling in for the long haul. Either they were exhausted from working 18 hours straight on Monday or the adrenalin of the first day excitement had worn off. Either way, there was a constant but steadier pace to the work today. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a marathon, not a sprint, and the teams understand that.

Photo of two decathletes wearing hard hats, safety glasses, and safety vests.

Safety is our number one priority. Here, two members of the Vienna University of Technology team display their safety equipment, including noise protection for drilling.

In general, significant progress was made in the past 36 hours. Only a few teams are behind schedule.

Kentucky/Indiana, composed of University of Louisville, Ball State University, and University of Kentucky, are in trouble because a wheel bearing seal blew, so the truck carrying their house has to be repaired. We hope they get it fixed soon!

One of the three trucks for Arizona State University and The University of New Mexico has not arrived, and it’s the same situation for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The teams didn’t fill out the correct permits for interstate travel, which has delayed their shipments to California.

The fourth team in trouble is Team Texas from the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College. Its house was sitting too high on its truck and couldn’t fit through an underpass, so the truck had to take an alternate route.

I talked to all the teams this afternoon, and they are all fairly certain the trucks will arrive tonight or tomorrow morning. We certainly hope so!

Richard King is director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

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