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Solar powered battery charger

Tiginj

New Member
Oct 2, 2019
1
0
NJ
Hello TMC,

What do you all think, if our man Elon, thinks about creating a LED like solar panel fixed on the car along side the groves of the top? This will enable the battery to be charged on the go. I had recently experienced while driving when there was not super chargers.
Yes / No, if No why?

TigiNJ
 

nickID

Member
Dec 16, 2018
162
216
US
Hello TMC,

What do you all think, if our man Elon, thinks about creating a LED like solar panel fixed on the car along side the groves of the top? This will enable the battery to be charged on the go. I had recently experienced while driving when there was not super chargers.
Yes / No, if No why?

TigiNJ
As far as I know, current solar panel technology outputs about 15 watts per square foot (this is at ~15% efficiency). In order to generate the same amount of power as a 220V/48A Level 2 Charger, you'd need about 700 square feet of solar panels. If we're generous and say that the car has 100 sq ft of surface area, even covering every single speck of the car wouldn't really be useful. Solar panel efficiency needs to improve pretty significantly and continue to decrease in cost in order for it to be useful as a mechanism to create a "self charging" vehicle.
 

CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,403
1,589
Talent, OR
As far as I know, current solar panel technology outputs about 15 watts per square foot (this is at ~15% efficiency). In order to generate the same amount of power as a 220V/48A Level 2 Charger, you'd need about 700 square feet of solar panels. If we're generous and say that the car has 100 sq ft of surface area, even covering every single speck of the car wouldn't really be useful. Solar panel efficiency needs to improve pretty significantly and continue to decrease in cost in order for it to be useful as a mechanism to create a "self charging" vehicle.
Yeah, that. Incoming solar radiation tops out right around 1000 watts/square meter. Good solar panels top out around 28% efficiency (go ahead and argue up or down--it won't change the overall point much). There are maybe two square meters up top where you wouldn't be obstructing the driver's visibility. So in optimal conditions you could maybe produce 2 x 0.28 x 1000 = 560 watts. Did I mention "optimal"? If the panels aren't perpendicular to the sun's rays, start using trig to cut that back. So in an hour, the car could generate (by definition) 0.56 kilowatt-hours (kWh). I'll call that half a kWh for convenience. It'd take 150 hours to fill a LR battery.

Would it extend your range a bit? Of course it would. Is it worth it? I'd rather have my sexy car.

But a few months ago I did see some manufacturer (Europe?) showing a car with solar built into every approximately horizontal surface.
 

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