Solar car

El solar car it is one with an electric motor capable of drawing energy to operate from solar panels installed over the entire surface of its body. These solar vehicles have quite efficient technological development and can be known on the market.

That is why we dedicate this article to tell you everything you need to know about the solar car, its characteristics and its technology.

Solar car

It is a car with an electric motor that draws energy from solar panels installed on the entire surface of the car’s bodywork. Basically, electric vehicles in all aspects concerning their operation and propulsion mechanism, and your difference lies solely in the source of electrical energy. they should not be confused with solar cars, which are cars that draw electricity from solar energy obtained from the outside of the car.

Solar cells installed in these cars convert solar energy into electrical energy that can be stored in the battery or used directly in the engine. Traditionally, solar cars have been known for their low autonomy, in part because it is difficult to increase the efficiency of solar panels and their design is intended to minimize aerodynamic drag.

Additionally most experimental prototypes are designed and manufactured with very light materials to promote overall energy efficiency. But in the medium term, there are already prototypes and projects to bring solar cars to market.

Questionable feasibility

as we have already presented, solar cars absorb solar energy through panels mounted on their surface and convert it into electrical energy for storage in so-called solar cells. This electrical energy powers the car’s engine, just like any other electric car.

The problem starts here, because the feasibility of solar cars that rely 100% on solar energy has been questioned for many reasons. One of them is the low energy efficiency of solar panels. In fact, the most efficient photovoltaic solar cells currently exceed 26% and are expected to reach 29% within a few years.

What it means? Charging solar batteries requires a very large area of highly efficient solar panels. The electric motor is always more efficient than any combustion option, but in this case (with solar electricity generation) we have the disadvantage of energy potential per unit mass (the amount of energy released per kilogram of fuel), far superior in gasoline or diesel options.

Solar battery

Another aspect is to rely on the sun to charge the battery. This is obvious, but depending on the country and the latitude, this will be the true charging capacity of these cars in everyday life, as long as there is no other way to charge the battery, like the conventional plug of electric cars.

There is no doubt that the idea of owning a green car with solar energy is attractive for many reasons, such as sustainability, environmental protection, economy or innovation. However, with the exception of some longer-term projects that are not clearly defined. , solar energy is the best application in automobiles is as a complementary energy source for energy systems such as air conditioning, lighting or multimedia systems.

Some projects

Apart from the racing world, photovoltaic cell technology is currently uncommon in the automotive market. The main obstacles are the high cost of implementing this technology in cars, limiting the size of the vehicle to the number of panels that can be placed and the range and speed that can be achieved.

Several solar-powered electric vehicle projects are trying to get consumers to buy them. lightyear one has attracted the most attention, with a range of more than 700 kilometers. It uses photovoltaic cells. According to its developers, this photovoltaic cell can store 20% more energy than conventional batteries and operate autonomously even when in the shade.

The price is 150.000 euro, which are far from a viable option for most people, but the possibility of their technology being used by others can open up interesting areas of opportunity.

Another strong bet is the sono sion, which, with 248 solar cells distributed over its body, offers an additional range of 250 kilometers for the 34 kilometers achieved with the battery charge. The market price is 25.500 euro.

There are other projects that hope to be more accessible and are stranded due to funding difficulties. This is the case of the spanish "mo", a two-seater city bus with an approximate price of 5.000 euro, which recently announced that the project has been suspended due to the inability to produce its first products.

Could the solar car be traded?

although public access to solar-powered cars is a distant reality, solar power can also support more sustainable mobility through other options. Solar-charged vehicles are the vehicles that do not have photovoltaic panels on their own surface and they move because of electricity generated by solar panels located in external infrastructure (be it roofs of houses, garages, etc.).).

In addition, there is the possibility, which has already been used in several commercial models, of placing solar panels on the roof of electric or hybrid vehicles as a support system. These panels are far from being able to move the vehicle, but they can provide the energy needed, for example by using an air conditioner.

So far, installing photovoltaic panels in cars has not proven to be the most effective solution to the problem of fossil fuel substitution, but they can support other systems. Last but not least, the future of sustainable transport will require understanding how to use each clean technology.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the solar car and its features.

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