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Old 09-14-2005, 02:58 PM   #1
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Solar Concept

I cant see solar power being a great option considering you need sunlight to run on solar power. Not to mention the ammount of space you would need for solar pannels. taking space into consideration, the only logical solar powered vehicle would have to be a hybrid truck. Taking the concept of the Prius Plus and the Prius GT and using Li-ion instead of NiMH, and a diesel engine instead of a gasoline engine. Using the bed as a battery cache, with a solar pannel plated bed cover, it would probably be possible to get up to 120mpg out of a small truck.
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Old 09-14-2005, 04:11 PM   #2
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A friend of mine has a few engineer friends who have told him that the next technology of li-ion batteries will actually be able to recharge in 6 minutes (220 volts I'm assuming). this is going to open up a whole new world of solar/ EV vehicles. This means it can charge most of the day off of ambient solar energy, and it can also be charged with your outlet at home very quickly.

I think that solar is just going to become one way to charge EV vehicles. You are right though, solar panels are not practical right now, especially considering the cost of them.

BTW, is the truck you're hoping to buy going to be a solar/diesel hybrid project?
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:13 PM   #3
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Solar sucks to me, I think it is just a stage worth skipping in terms of car power. Solar is wonderful however for houses and power generation, but if you don't waste money trying to make it light and blah blah for a car you can more it cheaper and more efficient for the home. In any case, I think that that is how solar will be done with cars, just plugging it into your house's solar grid. I just don;t feel like it is necessary to waste money and time on bandaids like hybrids and solar. Just like if we had never invented the wheel, sure it would've sucked for a long time, but by now we could be hovering around powered by co2 or some crazy crap that became necessary sans the wheel.
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:37 PM   #4
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You make a great point SVOBoy. I think that the future of cars is electric, charged by solar. I forsee a day when every house has a battery pack the size of a central air conditioner, or maybe even a furnace that is charged by each home's solar grid, or the grid network. Cars will just be another thing to plug into the grid.
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:50 PM   #5
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Solar energy will never become widely used until they find a better, more efficient way to convert it into electrical energy. Costs are through the roof. I've heard it takes about 20 years to break even when converting to solar power. Nobody except the rich, famous, and insane are willing to dish out the kind of money it takes for that stuff.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:42 PM   #6
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Good news, you can actually buy a car that runs on solar and wind energy, the Venturi eclectic. It costs 24.000 Euros:

www.venturi.fr

They also sell a solar/electric racer (going 120 km/hour), called the Astrolab.
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatland2D View Post
Solar energy will never become widely used until they find a better, more efficient way to convert it into electrical energy. Costs are through the roof. I've heard it takes about 20 years to break even when converting to solar power. Nobody except the rich, famous, and insane are willing to dish out the kind of money it takes for that stuff.
The thing is, electrical connection costs are already incorporated into the home price, so most people don't realize what that cost is. Builders clump housing to minimize all costs, including connection, land, etc... But it's still significant and present. If you ever happen to build off the grid, you might find that paying for a connection just isn't worthwhile when you can trim your electrical usage and buy a small solar system for about the same price. If you live someplace suitable for wind generation, that's a hands down winner within a couple years, but yeah... It really depends on where and how you want to live. In the city, you pay for convenience but give up having a decent chunk of land, or independence from local service providers. In the country, you give up the convenience of having something built for you, but have the advantage of building to suit your own needs, which can save quite a bit of cash too...
YMMV
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:37 PM   #8
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I thought it was interesting that when they did a pole in californa of people who own electric vehicles, 48% of them charge from PV, granted the pole was only around 100 people, but still, I though those were decent numbers.
personaly, I like the idea of PV on houses, in my experence it works really well, and pay back is all in how you look at it, your electricity has to come from some place, do you want it coming from solar, or coal, or nucular power? you have to look at the byproducts of those, and the short, and long turm affects, you could argue that eating of porclin, or glass plates is just to exspensive, that everyone should be eating off styrofoam, that the pay back of porclin is just not worth it yet.
I don't like the idea of pv on cars, the flexable moduals are not efficent, or durrable, and the efficent moduals are heavy and to a point brittle, and then you run into problems like driving at night, where insted you could build a car port who's roof is pv panals, have this built in the area that you park most in the day time, and have it grid connected as well to back feed when your car is fully charged, or at another location.

my family, like most of the people I know who have PV, are not rich, famus, or insane, we started along this rout because it was both the more cost affective way to go (cost of bringing the grid to us was more then the cost of buying PV) and if you look at it as an investment, then it does have "pay back" or it at least has piece of mind, you are buying your electricty for the rest of your life, our oldest panals were bought when I was just a few years old, so more then enough time has gone by for them to produce the dollor equivlent of electricty, and they are still out there, doing their job, and I exspect them to keep doing so for another 20-30 years, or more.
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:01 PM   #9
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I thought it was interesting that when they did a pole in californa of people who own electric vehicles, 48% of them charge from PV, granted the pole was only around 100 people, but still, I though those were decent numbers.
personaly, I like the idea of PV on houses, in my experence it works really well, and pay back is all in how you look at it, your electricity has to come from some place, do you want it coming from solar, or coal, or nucular power? you have to look at the byproducts of those, and the short, and long turm affects, you could argue that eating of porclin, or glass plates is just to exspensive, that everyone should be eating off styrofoam, that the pay back of porclin is just not worth it yet.
I don't like the idea of pv on cars, the flexable moduals are not efficent, or durrable, and the efficent moduals are heavy and to a point brittle, and then you run into problems like driving at night, where insted you could build a car port who's roof is pv panals, have this built in the area that you park most in the day time, and have it grid connected as well to back feed when your car is fully charged, or at another location.

my family, like most of the people I know who have PV, are not rich, famus, or insane, we started along this rout because it was both the more cost affective way to go (cost of bringing the grid to us was more then the cost of buying PV) and if you look at it as an investment, then it does have "pay back" or it at least has piece of mind, you are buying your electricty for the rest of your life, our oldest panals were bought when I was just a few years old, so more then enough time has gone by for them to produce the dollor equivlent of electricty, and they are still out there, doing their job, and I exspect them to keep doing so for another 20-30 years, or more.

This is such a great post, that I have to quote the whole thing, and say, "good for you!" You hit all the high points here, for sure. Regarding that poll of ~100 EV drivers - we were not all from CA, and we were all production EV drivers, which means that ~100 is a HUGE percentage of us.

Some points to support what you've said here:
1. I am not wealthy, famous or insane, and my PV system "paid me back" the very day I turned it on. I took out a loan, and the money I save in displaced energy (both electricity and gasoline) is quit a bit more than my monthly payment on the loan. When I pay the loan off this year, I'm WAY the hell ahead.

2. Why does PV always have to "pay back" in order to be valuable? Where's the payback in a bigscreen TV? A bathroom remodel? Drives me nuts.

3. PV most definitely has a place in transportation. And that is on the roof of the garage or carport. Silly to put the panels on the vehicle at this point. If you park in the shade or a garage, you get nothing for your investment. My PV produces all day, every day because it is on the roof of my house, oriented properly, and not shaded.

4. My EV is solar-powered. Just not directly. I make the power on my roof. Charge the batteries, and drive happily along without petroleum.
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:14 PM   #10
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It would freak me out to have my PV's on my car, the average life of a car in the us is around 7 years, alot of compenys building pv's are putting a warenty of at least 25 years, a few might have 30 year warenty, our PV's that are over 20 years old came with a 10 year warenty, so I would hope that with a 25 year warenty, that new panals would last at least twice as long, so again, why put something with such a long life on an object with such a short life?
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