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there are millions of vehicles worldwide. the body of the vehicle is exposed to the sun forever.why the manufacturers don't come with an idea where the solar panels get integrated with the body of the vehicle

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There is a similar thread to this one, about solar panels on wind mills.

 

I think the general consensus was that if money was going to be spent on solar panels, they should be placed in areas where they will provide the highest return (such as Arizona, or some other sunny, relatively dry area).

 

For example, solar panels on a car in Alaska may not even produce enough energy to offset their cost of production.

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there are millions of vehicles worldwide. the body of the vehicle is exposed to the sun forever.why the manufacturers don't come with an idea where the solar panels get integrated with the body of the vehicle

 

They already have implemented such an idea:

 

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/solar_hybrid_ca.php

 

 

And, there's always the more full versions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_vehicle

 

 

 

 

 

I think the general consensus was that if money was going to be spent on solar panels, they should be placed in areas where they will provide the highest return (such as Arizona, or some other sunny, relatively dry area).

That's not really true, at all. The general consensus is that they need to be placed anywhere there is a need for power and where the sun shines. While solar may not provide the ONLY source, it is not simply being disregarded as useless for that reason.

 

 

For example, solar panels on a car in Alaska may not even produce enough energy to offset their cost of production.

 

I've never heard of such a thing. The sun shines in Alaska. Do you have any more information so I can research the phenomenon you're trying to represent here?

 

 

Oh... and this thread is nothing like the solar panels on wind mills thread. That thread was kinda stupid, despite the OPs heart being in the right place. ;)

Edited by iNow
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I've never heard of such a thing. The sun shines in Alaska. Do you have any more information so I can research the phenomenon you're trying to represent here?

 

The insolation is dependent on the latitude and thus so does the grid parity point. If your panel doesn't track the sun's angle above the horizon you'll take a significant hit on how much power you can generate, and thus the break-even point.

 

——

 

I think my main objection to panels on a car is that you put something somewhat delicate in harm's way, and it's not worth the risk/reward. A few m^2 and perhaps 5 kWh/m^2/day, for 10 kWh. 20% efficient panels gives you 2 kWh, which is enough to drive about 5 miles.

 

But what happens when you get into a fender-bender? Are the panels as resilient as the structural material of the car, or do the panels shatter? Are they even up to the repeated shock of slamming the doors shut on a daily basis? Is that worth the extra money?

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IMO, as of today, no. They are not resilient enough nor do the existing roof panels available (like for the Prius) generate enough power to make much of a difference.

 

With that said, however, that's just "as of today." I see no reason that efficiency and manufacturing improvements down the line won't make this approach a much more feasible piece in the overall puzzle.

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Maybe a good design for solar panels is high intensity. In other words, instead of a large surface area of solar panels to collect solar energy, we focus the sun with reflectors and beam this concentrated energy onto a small high intensity panel. This sounds easier said than done because it would require a different technology than current panels. It may be cheaper to make reflectors with a compact collector, instead of huge collectors.

 

The question is, what could you use as a high intensity collector. Maybe instead of electron transitions on solid surfaces it could be a reversible chemical reaction. Maybe sort of a transparent liquid battery that we charge with high intensity light.

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IMO, as of today, no. They are not resilient enough nor do the existing roof panels available (like for the Prius) generate enough power to make much of a difference.

 

With that said, however, that's just "as of today." I see no reason that efficiency and manufacturing improvements down the line won't make this approach a much more feasible piece in the overall puzzle.

 

The only one I had heard of (from a PopSci article) was a sunroof that had an integrated solar panel that powered a small fan to cool the inside of the car on hot days.

 

That's not really true, at all. The general consensus is that they need to be placed anywhere there is a need for power and where the sun shines. While solar may not provide the ONLY source, it is not simply being disregarded as useless for that reason.

 

I've never heard of such a thing. The sun shines in Alaska. Do you have any more information so I can research the phenomenon you're trying to represent here?

 

Oh... and this thread is nothing like the solar panels on wind mills thread. That thread was kinda stupid, despite the OPs heart being in the right place. ;)

 

Well, the solar panel costs a certain amount of energy to build. If the solar panel does not produce at least that much energy over its life (which may be quite short as was pointed out) then it isn't worth it.

 

The sun does shine in alaska, just not too brightly. At least that was the logic I used to justify my point. Although I seem to be mistaken on this one:

 

http://www.absak.com/library/solar-photovoltaic-power

 

Damned logic fails again :P

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The sun does shine in alaska, just not too brightly. At least that was the logic I used to justify my point. Although I seem to be mistaken on this one:

 

http://www.absak.com/library/solar-photovoltaic-power

 

Damned logic fails again :P

 

Panels on houses can be inclined to a reasonable angle, and would render the panels useful in the summer.

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