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Old 01-12-2018, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dutch Lightspeed fully solar car by 2019

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-fully-...e-road-by-2019

Yep

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good to see this progress

I'm still planning a motorhome that will be self charging (solar) when used as my daily driver.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/553098-post22.html
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The oil industry won't allow a tech that could hurt them so badly over night to ever come to fruition.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is in the corral for a reason:

https://www.engineering.com/Electron...r-Powered.aspx

Only mistake is that ~6hp is enough for a small car to cruise at a decent rate, but that assumes a five fold increase in efficiency over what's currently available.

I've got 5x4' of panels on my van. That's not enough to run a diesel engine, HVAC and radio.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It seems the writer of that article doesn't even know the difference between kW and kWh

I don't think anyone is saying the solar panels will output enough kW to run the motor directly.

However, if a vehicle has a large enough collection area (and my 7.5m long x 2m wide motorhome will have significant collection area, and the lightspeed seems to have significant solar panel surface area also) then all that energy can be collected during the day and saved to batteries. End result is actually significant kWh per day direct from the sun - certainly enough for my local driving habits.

I don't see any downsides to this - my emergency backup will be, shock horror, plugging in and charging - like any other electric car does...
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't think anyone is saying the solar panels will output enough kW to run the motor directly.

End result is actually significant kWh per day direct from the sun - certainly enough for my local driving habits.
Technically there's no result until you've done it. It takes my 340W panels 2hrs to bring my 120Ah starting battery up to float after a drive (with the alternator connected). My van is 5.5 x 2m, so not exactly small, there's realistically only space for ~680W of panels unless you find ones that happen to fit exactly. On a bigger van you might get 1000W of panels onto your vehicle. Max output will be less than half rated output at midday, summer solstice.

You can use solar to top up leisure batteries fine, drive batteries on a motorhome, not so much. It's going to take a lot of kWh to move a vehicle that size.

I looked into converting my old T5, would have cost AU$30k in batteries (new) for a ~100km range. If you're trying to build a camping vehicle the size of a Sprinter it's simply way too expensive.

Not sure what the goal is- a van that size is way too big for a daily, our carparks aren't designed for things like that, it's bad enough with a mid size van. A car+ trailer is actually more practical/ maneuverable in the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_t View Post
I don't see any downsides to this - my emergency backup will be, shock horror, plugging in and charging - like any other electric car does...
The down side is you have to park in the sun. The sun destroys paint work & plastics and means it's always scorching hot inside. There's never a prize for guessing which cars have always lived outside and which have been garaged.

If you're using flexible panels they only have a ~5 year life span. Ironically your solar panels will last longer if you park in the shade. I still park in the shade wherever possible. Frankly, vehicle mounted solar is a last resort.

It's far better to park in a garage and put the panels on that. That way you can use reliable glass panels and angle them correctly.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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True that you need to park in the sun for such panels to provide the best assistance! Obviously this isn't going to work for those who want to park undercover, or who park in shaded spots.

However, there are plenty of vehicles, including mine, that sit in the sun all day every day.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Might actually be more practical to have a shaded area via "car port" which has big ass solar panels on it's roof, which feed power to the car via a plug in solution.
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That would suit some better - those who park there car under the carport during the day.

It'd be less practical for those who don't have a carport at work (or wherever the car is parked during sunshine hours).

Need to remember the car market is huge. No single car is going to suit everyone or every situation. Your (and my) experience doesn't apply universally. There most definitely is a large qty of cars throughout the world that spend most of the day sitting directly in the sun.

If Lightspeed were able to capture even 0.1% of that market, I suspect they will have succeeded beyond there expectations...
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
This is in the corral for a reason:

https://www.engineering.com/Electron...r-Powered.aspx

Only mistake is that ~6hp is enough for a small car to cruise at a decent rate, but that assumes a five fold increase in efficiency over what's currently available.

I've got 5x4' of panels on my van. That's not enough to run a diesel engine, HVAC and radio.
The Stella prototype that preceded this exists and actually works.



I have no doubts that this can be pulled off.

What is currently available are overweight rolling bricks with the most superficial levels of streamlining(cars today are moreso made to look aerodynamic than actually be such, although they are improved from what existed in say, the 1960s and 1970s, half a century ago, by about 50%) and enough "power"-everything features fully loaded into them to hog multiple horsepower that doesn't even go into moving the car down the road

The industry average Cd is around 0.28 and the typical vehicle is a "small" crossover that has a frontal area somewhere around 25 sq ft, and weighs around 4,000 lbs, while using tires with a Crr somewhere around 0.010, and comes "fully loaded" from the factory with all sorts of energy hogging features whether the buyer wants them or not in order to pad margins.

What happens when you gut all the luxury features(go back to roll-up windows, get rid of heated seats, go back to manual steering, and be rid of other profit-padding energy-hogging crap), cut the Cd down to 0.14 by actually focusing on the "substance" of how the vehicle functions in the air over its "style"(fake vents and oversized grilles are still a thing and we don't need them), cut frontal area down to 14 sq ft by actually making a small car(this is a similar frontal area to the old MGs and Triumphs of the 60s and most non-morbidly-obese people can still fit in them comfortably), cut weight to under 2,000 lbs(no exotic materials required and can be done by keeping everything simple with less-features), and use tires with a Crr around 0.005? You've now cut the power drain from features that don't even move the car from a constant drain of 3-5 horsepower down to almost zero, and your rolling drag and aerodynamic drag are now each roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of what they used to be.

A 3 or 4-fold increase in efficiency from reduced aero and rolling drag will get it very close, then consider getting rid of all the power drains, and now you've got your 5-fold increase in vehicle efficiency. You go from 30 horsepower needed to do 70 mph on flat ground down to 6 horsepower, pretty damned easily without giving up anything that is needed to get from Point A to Point B safely and quickly, and in the long run, will do it for much cheaper(this is the part industry hates because that means less money goes to them). Granted, solar power won't be meeting 100% of the car's needs to cruise 70 mph and the battery will drain, but if you have 4.5 sq m of solar panels of 20% efficiency in direct sunlight at 800W per m^2, you will get roughly 1 horsepower of usable solar energy to drive the car in direct sunlight, which would be enough power to allow the car to cruise at 30 mph on solar power alone without draining the battery, or if it gets 8 hours direct sunlight a day, enough energy to do more than 80 miles range at 70 mph on the highway without ever needing to be plugged in.

Of course, things get much more interesting when you design a car for 1 or 2 persons(perhaps a tandem 2-seater) instead of 4, and design the car to where the passenger being carried is at least half of the laden vehicle mass. Now you can make something the size of a velomobile that could maintain 60 mph on only 1 horsepower and accelerate like a musclecar with a modest 30 horsepower electric drive system... and probably run circles around said musclecar on a circuit track. And solar power would now be much more than adequate to make the vehicle move... 1 horsepower to do 60 mph and 4 horsepower to do 100 mph, when we now have Tesla making batteries that put out 280 Wh/kg, opens up a crap ton of possibilities, don't you think? A mere 3 kg of battery could get such a vehicle an entire hour of running on the highway at highway speeds! Should such a thing be produced in large volume, it is conceivable that a high-performance one-seater commuter electric vehicle, drive-able in all weather conditions, could be made for not much more than the cost of a motorized scooter. And you wouldn't need a lot of solar panels if you wanted to make it not require a plug most of the time...

Yet the industry is still stuck making oversized aerodynamic bricks of 3-box designs conceptually based on 19th century horse-drawn carriages...

As Luigi Colani has said about the trucking industry and the state/industry hacks controlling it, "The stupidity is overwhelming!"


Last edited by The Toecutter; 03-09-2019 at 02:59 PM..
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