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Old 11-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Turtle Solar film - could it help power a vehicle?

I read recently about a new development in solar collectors. It was a thin film that could be put over windows to collect solar power to be turned into electricity. Apparently the electrons were located along the edges of the film.

My thought was when (or if) this technology becomes economically feasible to use, could one put it on an electric car's hood(or even on a rechargeable hybrid), trunk and roof and then help to charge the batteries with it? I don't know enough about solar power to know if a solar converter and a charger would weigh a lot.

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Old 11-24-2008, 04:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The issue isn't weight so much as it is the cost of the cells and their output.

Typically the cost is very high and the power output fairly low (relative to the power demands of the vehicle).

People who have added panels to electric passenger cars (or hybrids) typically report that they provide a very small boost in range (let's say a couple of miles).
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To supplement the drive system they do not offer enough to warrant the expense that could be used elsewhere.
The application I have seen that is an excellent idea is their inclusion in the Aptera, which uses the solar panels only for climate control. Even when the car is parked the power from the solar panels is used to help vent excess heat from the passenger compartment.
This helps reduce the power demand needed to run the air conditioning when the car becomes occupied.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good point, captainslug.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, at least one guy on here took off his alternator and replaced it with a bank of batts to avoid parasitic drag - solar film could help keep those topped up.

If I could, I'd add a couple of flexible panels to the roof of the subie and take its alternator off. Anything that might drag its miserable mileage into the thirties would be welcome.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thought I had read somewhere about photovoltaic paint... that someone was experimenting with it, trying to turn the paintjob on their car into a giant solar cell... I'm not sure how this would work, but it might be something worth looking into...

If nothing else, you could have the most expensive paint job on the block...
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes it exists but is not yet marketable, the goal was an inefficient solar material that cost the same as paint making it stupid not to impliment, now to see if I can find the linky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I thought I had read somewhere about photovoltaic paint... that someone was experimenting with it, trying to turn the paintjob on their car into a giant solar cell... I'm not sure how this would work, but it might be something worth looking into...

If nothing else, you could have the most expensive paint job on the block...
Also I would argue that solar panels on an electric vehicle are NOT a waste!

The electric to drive a car is very cheap but the lead acid batteries sulphating while you sit at work are very expensive. One set of lead acid traction batteries would easily pay for several relatively small solar float charging systems.

The main advantage of a small solar panel is to pulse desulphate and float the batteries while you sit keeping your most expensive investment from wearing out as quickly. This is assuming you sit at work during the day like I do.

If your out at night no dice.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're out at night, the car is still sitting outside in the driveway during the day, in most cases... wouldn't it have the same effect? Just a thought...

good argument pro-cell though.

I'd love to see that link, so I know I'm not remembering things that aren't really there.

PS did you really mean "inefficient" up there? I would wonder why they would want to make something "inefficient" is why I ask.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Inefficient=dirt cheap
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Inefficient=dirt cheap
I kind of expected that answer... but at least they're looking at SOMETHING, as opposed to saying "it's too... (finish phrase)" and not doing it at all.

I'm still working on my wife w/ the "I can't" phrases... I hate it when she says it, and she usually says it right before finding out that "it" was one of the easiest things she's ever done.

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