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Old 06-27-2006, 07:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
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have a car covered with solar panels power the air compressor. or hook it up to ac power at home so the air compressor can "recharge" the car.
A Tesla turbine would work very good with that idea. You can make them very eff.
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Old 06-27-2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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$10,000 minimum bid, that better come with a bus load of pre-paid hookers or something.
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Old 06-27-2006, 10:59 PM   #13
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There are limitations to the power output of solar panels. You're looking at 200-300W per square meter. A typical midsize car will use about 12,000-15,000W to cruise at 60 mph, a very aerodynamic midsize car or econocar, about 5,000-7,000W.

A car run on compressed air is much like an electric vehicle in its fuel source. Electricity compresses the air, stores it in a large tank. The compressed air then runs a pneumatic engine, which can have as many cylinders as you care to design it for.

The air car is much less efficient than an electric car, however, and has severe limitations on power and range, moreso than an electric motor using batteries. There are substantial energy losses in compressing the air, and the efficiency of the pneumatic engine used is nowhere near that of an electric motor.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:28 PM   #14
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there are compressed air cars made, and they have a range simaler to that of an electric car, and cost slightly more to recharge then an electric car, they also hate cold weather, and their engines have a tendency to ice up as the air being released cooles the engine, it's really hard to fit enough air in a car to make it go any distance I think it was a tank slightly larger then if you tride to put a 20 gallon tank on a vehicle that normaly has a 10 gallon tank, at 10,000 psi you could go around 60 miles, and if someone rear ended you, your car explodes, just take a look at what happens when scuba tanks stored in car trunks expole from the car being hit, it shreds the car compleatly, and it takes a while to refill a tank that is 10,000psi, overnight I think was the idea.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:53 PM   #15
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Actually, electric cars with NiMH and LiIon/LiPoly batteries are doing 200-300 miles range at 65-70 mph speeds.

Try to get a compressed air car to do that.

For that matter, try to get a compressed air car up to 240 mph, like Keio University's Eliica, an electric limousine. I've never heard of any compressed air car that can do more than 65 mph.

About the air tanks. MUCH safer than a gas tank. Even hydrogen is safer than having gasoline, and hydrgen is contained at similar pressure to the tanks used to run an air car.
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Toecutter
There are limitations to the power output of solar panels. You're looking at 200-300W per square meter. A typical midsize car will use about 12,000-15,000W to cruise at 60 mph, a very aerodynamic midsize car or econocar, about 5,000-7,000W.

A car run on compressed air is much like an electric vehicle in its fuel source. Electricity compresses the air, stores it in a large tank. The compressed air then runs a pneumatic engine, which can have as many cylinders as you care to design it for.

The air car is much less efficient than an electric car, however, and has severe limitations on power and range, moreso than an electric motor using batteries. There are substantial energy losses in compressing the air, and the efficiency of the pneumatic engine used is nowhere near that of an electric motor.
The "solar car" competition rules are useless as far as practical vehicles are concerned. The rules don't allow much battery storage. This renders "solar cars" useless on cloudy days and at night.

However, a solar car equipped with larger batteries could charge all day in the company parking lot, at least enough for your commute home.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:18 AM   #17
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Where solar really comes in handy in powering a car is on garage and rooftop mounted arrays. Charge the car when it's not in use, with solar panels that it doesn't ened to carry. Still runs on sunlight... When the car's not plugged in, power goes into the grid or runs home/office/whatever.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:10 PM   #18
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Where solar really comes in handy in powering a car is on garage and rooftop mounted arrays.
Have there been any recent advances in solar panel efficiency/cost/energy it takes to produce versus lifetime output?
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:48 PM   #19
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Not advances that have made it to consumers, no. By recent, I assume you mean within the past 2-3 years, and not within the 1990s.

In the 1990s, over the lifetime of the panels, counting inverter and batteries and such, solar has gotten down to about $.14-18/kWh. This is cheaper than the electricity from coal plants many buy(Even if that electricity might only cost $.04-.07/kWh to generate, companies often charge triple and quadruple for that kWh), and competitive in cost per kWh with nuclear plants from the 1960s and 1970s. This estimate assumes a 20 year lifetime. But panels DO last much longer than that. Sets from the 1960s and 1970s are still going strong, today delivering over 60% of the peak power they were rated at then. If you count life over 30 or 40 years, price can drop to around $.10/kWh.

However, they are being adopted very slowly. You don't need to mine solar energy, you don't need to process it, ship it, or burn it. All of those processes have a profit margin lined into them. They make the power companies less money and they take decades to return their first profits, and have thus seen some degree of suppression by entrehcned industries like coal and natural gas.

Wind is even cheaper than solar, $.03-.05/kWh for large scale turbines when the subsidy is removed.

Energy return of inverested energy for solar is around 12:1. Basically, over a 20 year life, the panels produce 12 times more energy from sunlight than what it cost to make them. Although, the last longer than 20 years so if kept and used longer, the EROIE is much higher. Wind energy has an EROIE of around 35:1.
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