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Solar powered electric cars

08/03/2022 11:11 PM

Electric cars have some fairly dramatic issues.

First, it takes a fair amount of time to fully charge a car.

Second, the infrastructure to charge cars is very limited.

Third, the time to recharge is very long when compared with the time to get a tankful of gasoline.

So… what might be the benefit of placing solar cells on the roof of the vehicle? It seems “intuitively obvious” that, even in full sunlight, a roof-mount solar cell will not have enough “oomph” to power the vehicle for any significant time.

But… lots of cars are driven to work, parked in a lot, and then driven home.

For this application, if the vehicle had a roof-mount solar cell… might this provide enough “oomph” to make this application practical?

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#1

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/03/2022 11:49 PM

You could maybe on a cloudless day gain a few miles...

..."Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus - 253 Wh/mile(157 Wh/km) Tesla Model 3 Standard Range - 257 Wh/mile (160 Wh/km)May 7, 2019

Figure the car needs 253 watt hours per mile.....

So the average solar panel puts out...

..."Modern solar panels are around 15% efficient, so that works out to approximately 150 watts per square meter, or 15 watts per square foot."...

So you would need around 17 sq/ft of solar panels for one hour to generate 1 mile of range, but that's if your charging system was 100% efficient, and under perfect conditions....

..."Generally speaking, your EV may use 12 to 15 percent more energy than what you add to your battery. That number could be lower or higher depending on charging conditions."

That takes us up to 20 sq/ft under perfect conditions...

...and lastly but not leastly, you are generating dc voltage, so the voltage would have to be correct...

.. Fig . 9 Test vehicle Toyota Prius [43] The study reported in [44] indicates that a typical roof area (1.7-2.0 m²) of a medium-class car, comprising a photovoltaic panels with a power (340-500 W), can yield an additional driving range per year in the range from 1900 up to 3,400 km (Table 1). Fig. 10 shows the range of the potential offered by the photovoltaics used on selected cars. ...

So an average of ~2500 km or 1550 miles...so about 4.5 miles on a good day....

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Daily-average-generation-for-each-month-of-a-car-with-2m-roof-area-in-two-different_fig3_346393294

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a36062942/evs-explained-charging-losses/

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 12:08 AM
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#17
In reply to #2

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/06/2022 2:32 AM

An observation on solar power. Where I once worked we had a number of solar powered remote radio transmitters set on trailers which were moved around depending on where the mining was being done. Each unit had 6x200W solar panels and 1000AHr batteries to maintain the night time operations. Each unit had 2 x 5W UHF radioes and 2 x 25W VHF radios, cross linked through a controller.

Three days of cloudy weather would see us taking out generators and battery chargers to bring the system back to reliable operation or for as long as the inclement weather lasted and the solar became a reliable power system. We looked at supplemental wind generators to go with the solar panels but then if the sun don't shine the wind don't blow and down in a pit there isn't much wind.

Today in cloudy showery weather my weather station tells me to expect 100W/m2. Do the maths and yes you could charge your phone or tablet and keep the lead acid battery charged to run some of the auxiliaries. Sorry but I am a skeptic of the benefits of roof top car charging solar panel septic tank effluent.

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#3

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 6:44 AM

The Lightyear solar-powered car has roof-integrated solar panels.

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#5
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 11:18 AM

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 1:13 PM

Since most commuters travel less than the 44 miles a sunny day recharge can provide, this vehicle can provide a commuter with all of their commuter transportation energy on those days for free. I come to this conclusion from the Kelly Blue Book citing DOT data. "That’s roughly 1,200 miles per month per driver or about 39 miles per day." Clearly, this will not work for traveling salesmen, long-distance commuters, taxis, or many highway vacationers. One size never really fits all. However, this is certainly a big step in the right direction.

I like the side and rear cameras instead of mirrors and windows. They will take some time to get used to them. Cameras could also be more sensitive to low-level light than the human eye or even infrared sensitive for better nighttime operation. At this time not having side and rear mirrors will prevent this vehicle from being used here in the USA.

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#7
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 3:18 PM

I don't think there is a lot of people that have $250k to spend on a car like this...how you going to change a tire? ...custom tires on wheel motors, good luck with that...takes 2 days of continuous charging to fully charge this vehicle....you have to park it outside all the time to get any benefit of solar charging ability...there's no back window...0 - 60 in 10 sec...? What a dog, 4 cyl minivans can blow your doors off...

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 9:20 PM

I'm sorry but I guess you didn't grasp all of my meaning when I said "this is a big step in the right direction." This vehicle is not there yet. I tried to convey that also with my comment about taxis and traveling salesmen.

As far as overcast and rainy day charging, I'd be surprised if this vehicle couldn't take a charge from the grid, too. I guess that idea was too far of a stretch for you. Come to think of it, how does one solar charge continuously for 2 days?

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#11
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 11:40 PM

Solar charging would take more than 2 days, in fact probably more than a month, just sitting....No the continuous charging of 2 days would be on a standard 120v outlet, I guess you didn't catch that...

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/05/2022 5:14 AM

SILENCE….

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#4

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 8:37 AM

A number of cars are available with solar panels.

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#8

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 4:30 PM

There appears lately a number of EV fires in the news,… on top of that, with the price of the EV,… for most, it’s out of the price range.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/04/2022 9:16 PM

...."How many Tesla's caught fire? According to a chart from PlaineSite (a website that tracks EV fires), seven Tesla's have caught fire in the last four days. Although they are Tesla's from other countries, the majority of fire reports came within the U.S. One is from Canada."May 24, 2022

https://fossbytes.com/seven-tesla-cars-have-caught-fire-in-the-last-four-days/

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/05/2022 5:06 AM

Well, the Ford Pinto and Ford Bobcats after 38 fires, with 27 fatalities and 24 non-fatal burns were recalled

Now this was an ordered recall, if it a voluntary recall, its interesting that they have a number selected on how many millions they are willing to spend in claims before a recall.

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#14

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/05/2022 12:32 PM
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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/05/2022 4:02 PM

Lol…

And the cross wind is lower that 10 MPH,… and hope you don’t meet any of these…

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/05/2022 4:06 PM

Don't think those are street legal...

...and gators can smell a meal coming...

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#27
In reply to #14

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 8:48 AM

Lucky if some fisherman doesn't snag one on his hook.

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#18

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/06/2022 3:46 AM

A roof top solar PV has to be pretty rugged to withstand the vibrations and sudden jerks associated with any automobile on road .
It is better that all parking areas be provided with Solar PV panels and storage batteries with charging outlets rather than providing them on auto roofs .

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#19

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/06/2022 9:12 AM

Aptera is another solar powered offering https://aptera.us/?gclid=Cj0KCQjworiXBhDJARIsAMuzAuy_gX89yNYxMY7Ly433G1x4caa51fXBVZ2YQygPg5d37h-R7m9vpIwaApe9EALw_wcB

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#38
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/13/2022 5:07 PM

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#20

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 10:41 AM

I recall reading the results of the solar vehicle races across Australia. The concept is worth putting into production. The Aptera car looks like a good place to explore.

I agree with any who point out the wrong-way trend to put increasing amounts of horsepower into electric or hybrid cars (as well as petrol-powered cars). The research to create ever-smaller and more powerful electric motors can easily be adapted to making them better for lighter-weight EV's, not just to give >600 HP of power for use in someone's insane need to be "best" at whatever. Doing this would allow the resources for one motor to be put into 10+ motors, with long-term environmental benefits.

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#41
In reply to #20

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/14/2022 3:04 PM

The "insane" need to be best, is what has kept us alive these past thousands of years...I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it as a character flaw....more of a survival instinct...

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#21

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 10:46 AM

I wonder what percentage of parking spaces are underground or in multi-story car parks. Open air spaces might become available at a premium in the future.

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#22

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 2:57 PM

There is the Sono Sion that is coming shortly I'm told....

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#23
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 6:33 PM

what happens when your in an accident and are trapped in your solar powered car?… because when a house is on fire that has solar panels on the roof, there are firemen that may not or will not touch it.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 9:52 PM

Your concern is reasonable, but easy to answer. Include an easily reachable disconnect (or two) between the cells and the interior electronics. This is now mandated for homes (in the USA).

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#25
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/08/2022 11:19 PM

Thanks for enlightening me with the code.

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#26

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 8:46 AM

All vehicles have some wind resistance,and some Semi's have aerodynamic shape air foils that uses the back-draft to reduce wind engine load.A small amount of savings over millions of miles adds up.

Why not harness some of this wasted turbulent wind to power a wind-powered turbine to assist in powering options on the vehicle?

Maybe more than solar when in motion.

Or use the wind to power a turbocharger?Even a little boost is better than none;

Perhaps by funneling the air into the intake before the filter to reduce intake losses.

Picture a funnel as long as the grill,reduced down to possibly a 4 inch diameter fed into the air intake.

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 12:37 PM

There's no way to harness enough energy from a vehicle-mounted wind turbine, to offset the amount of kinetic energy it removes from the moving vehicle.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 1:26 PM

You "hit the nail on the head" with that answer. Perpetual motion cannot be achieved.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 4:38 PM

I am not talking about perpetual motion, I am not talking about putting a wind turbine on top,which would require more power to turn it than could be gained. I am talking about using energy that is now wasted--wind resistance, to improve efficiency.A flat grill is striking the wind straight on,so why not use it?

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#33
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 4:59 PM

I think regenerative braking would be more effective.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 9:05 PM

The two are not mutually exclusive,so combine them.

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#35
In reply to #30

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/11/2022 4:08 AM

I can remember seeing a scheme some time ago to have a series of vertical turbines at the side of the faster roads to harvest energy from the air displaced by passing vehicles. I wonder what became of that?

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#42
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/14/2022 9:09 PM

Arithmetic.

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#28

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 9:06 AM

It will take a long time for EV's to become commonplace.As you say,the infrastructure is not adequate to supply the power needed.The technology for on-the-go charging with resonant transformers embedded in the highway is a long way into the future.

Some cities are using bus stops to top off buses by embedded transformers at the stops.This is an ideal application,stop and go short distances,using dynamic braking.

The same could be done at intersections with EV's where there are stop lights; A top-off charge when stopped at each stop,billing done automatically wirelessly from info stored on the cars computer.This would be very beneficial in cities.It would eventually spread to interstates.

Fossil fuels will be around at least for another generation,if modern society survives that long.To paraphrase Einstein"I don't know what WWIII will be fought with,but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Then it will be "Planet of the mutant hairless apes".

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/10/2022 12:31 PM

I don't know about embedded transformers, but I know the Lake County transit system ("Laketran") in Greater Cleveland is transitioning from diesel to electric buses and two of their main stations are using pantographs to connect high voltage charging to them:

https://laketran.com/laketran-deploys-ohios-largest-battery-operated-electric-bus-fleet-with-a-charging-demonstration-at-the-dedication-of-the-wickliffe-transit-center-with-honored-guest-u-s-senator-sherrod-bro/

The only infrastructure that's missing is what's needed for long distance trips and apartment dwellers without access to a charging outlet. Otherwise most early adopters like myself are charging overnight at home. Right now an EV makes really good sense as a second car for home owning commuters, and prices are coming down, too. There's certainly money to be made in owning and operating a charging network so as the need increases the market surely will supply it.

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#36
In reply to #29

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/11/2022 4:16 AM

In the UK we are already being warned of power shortages as demand starts to exceed availability. Add in to that the need to build thousands of new houses & add in EV charging and it looks like we are heading for trouble.

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#37
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Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/11/2022 5:24 AM

Fantasy meets reality, it's going to be a rude awakening I think....We have given the greens the ball, and they have fumbled on their 1 yard line...

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#40
In reply to #37

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/13/2022 8:45 PM

Nope… the greens can’t even *find* the ball.

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#39

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/13/2022 8:07 PM

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#43

Re: Solar powered electric cars

08/15/2022 10:53 PM

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