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Solar powered cars

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by TEG, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Not exactly practical (better to have the panels mounted at home), but many people are interested in stuff like this.

    pv_prius.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I suggest getting a sheet of mylar film printed to look like solar cells and glue it onto the roof of your car. It would be far less expensive than a real solar collector, and everybody who sees it will be impressed with how "green" you are.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #4 TEG, Aug 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  4. Brent

    Brent Member

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    Gosh...there's a song lyric there, somewhere...

    I'm driving on sunshine, whoaa
    and don't it feel good...
     
  5. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Nice stats on that car, JRP3...

    23 horsepower,
    0 to 60 in a week and half!
    Heater=hair dryer!
     
  7. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Yeah, he needs more voltage, a better controller, and better batteries than flooded lead! I would have skipped the solar panels and put the money into the afore mentioned mods myself, but it's always a compromise on a budget.
     
  8. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    By the way, at one point I had a 70 Cougar that I used a 12 volt hair dryer for window defrosting when the fan and heater core went out, so I can't have a problem with that :D
     
  9. juk

    juk Member

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    Printed body panels

    Obviously the Prius above isn't a terribly effective solution to solar transport. But i propose something a little different. With the new CIGS solar cells of the Nanosolar type, and more particularly the printing method of manufacture, and more specifically the ability to print onto 3 dimensional objects, which whilst possible is not currently used for solar cells. Would it in fact be possible to "paint" the car with CIGS solar panels? I'd like to think so. Is it Viable? Well if someone is going to pay an extra grand for a fancy colour, would they pay an extra say $6k to make that "paint" work for them?

    Now lets assume we can get 5 square meters of usable body panels at any one time, and that we get 50W/sqm in america, and say 8 hours of sunlight. That's 2kW per day, or at 200W/mile that's 10 miles free every day. And that's at 15% efficiency, 20% gives 12.5 miles. Now if the Tesla Roadster is a weekend car, then that becomes 70 miles per weekend and no need to ever plug it in.

    What do you think?
     
  10. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I think it's not worth keeping a car outside with all the other ancillary damage. I'll plug-in every day over having dashboard cracks, faded leather, UV-damaged paint, etc., thank you.

    -Scott
     
  11. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I think you are really overestimating the potential output of a vehicle. Any body panel not at right angle to the sun will not be putting out anywhere near full power, so that means for only a few hours a day will the hood, roof and trunk be really working. Forget the sides of the vehicle for any real power. You'd probably get a better return putting conventional panels on the hood, roof and trunk, and as shown on the Prius it can be streamlined to fit. Still not much return, but the one benefit is if you are stuck somewhere with dead batteries all you have to do is sit around and wait, for a few hours :eek:
     
  12. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Most vehicles are parked outdoors during the day anyway. Ideally you could park under a carport with solar panels on the roof.
     
  13. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    Fundamentally, the idea of putting the solar cells on your car and hauling them around with you seems ludicrous to me. Not a bad idea for a Mars lander, but here on Earth I can always recharge at home. Even if I'm on a road trip, there's always somewhere to plug in.

    Now, as was suggested, putting the solar cells on the roof of my house is a great idea. The same square footage of cells can be optimally pointed at the sun and produce measurably more energy. And it won't be interrupted by bridges and shady country lanes. Run my electric meter backwards while I'm at work during the day, and then tap into that "stored" credit to charge the car at night.

    It's simple, really. Just optimize the technology by positioning it where it's most useful.
     
  14. Michael

    Michael Member

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    Allowing solar cells become available for placement on a vehicle sounds like it might be a useful option for some of us. Remember that there are millions of folks living in appartments or condo's that may not have access to plug in to recharge and may be constrained to park outdoors. If having this as an option makes it easier for someone to justify going the route of a PHEV or other hybrid, I say more power to them.
     
  15. juk

    juk Member

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    Especially if all we are talking about is a layer of "paint" 5 microns thick
     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    More details about Fisker's PHEV:

    "The Fisker Automotive vehicles will also offer recharging system options in addition to the standard 110/120 volt system. A fast-charging 220/240 system and a solar carport, equipped with solar modules supplied by Quantum and its German partner, asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH ("Asola"), will be offered as dealer options. A Quantum/Asola solar roof panel will be offered as a factory installed option to provide power for ventilation when parking, pre-air conditioning of the vehicle, supplemental cooling of the lithium-ion battery pack, and opportunity trickle charging of the vehicle batteries."
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #18 TEG, Dec 15, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  18. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

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    5m² seems way too optimistic, even if you paint the whole car, much of that area won't be exposed to sunlight. I would see a more practical solution with a sort of solar carpet which can be easily rolled up and stored in the car, that can be expanded to at least 10m² and set up whenever you park the car/take a break. So it could provide shade for your car while it's parked at the office, and recharging your battery for 8 hours, not too bad :) For camping cars/trailers it could easily provide all the electricity you need where ever you stop, no need to find a camp site to plug in your trailer.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah - flexible solar panels make that more possible.
    I like the idea of "unfurling" the portable sun-shade to grab some photons, but I am sure there would be some issues to solve with durability, cleaning, etc.
    Getting the aesthetics right could be a challenge as well.

    Did you catch that story a while back where flexible solar panels on the Space Station ripped when being opened? You wouldn't want that to happen to your car, and down here we have wind, hail, vandals, birds, and other extra hazards.
     

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