How to build an affordable solar car?
In this world, there is no such thing as a free lunch. But with the advancement in harnessing solar energy a free ride can be a reality. Imagine driving a car as much as you want to, go anywhere, and not spend one single penny on fuel. This can be a reality with the advent of solar cars. Solar cars are automobiles powered by the energy of the sun. Apart from the cost saving of the fuel these cars also have numerous environmental advantages.
Why Solar Cars are beneficial?
Solar energy can be converted to electrical energy using Solar Panels. Photovoltaic cells or PVC are the components that do this job. This is going to be your biggest expenses as PVC is not at all cheap. On the most elemental level PVCs is nothing but semi-conductors made out of silicon. The energy from the sun excites and frees the electrons in the semiconductors thus setting up an electric current that can be used to charge a battery. Now this battery can be used to perform any task, in our case running a car.
So in order to build a solar car we would need very efficient solar panels, a very high capacity battery, and an electric engine, to name the least. The biggest challenge while building such a car would be to provide a large enough surface area. It is because even the best solar cells cannot convert all the sunlight falling on them into electrical energy. Because of this limited energy it is a very basic necessity of a solar car to be highly efficient. This energy restraint forces us to reduce the weight of the car by using very light materials. In order to generate maximum energy, the entire area of the car should be effectively utilized. A ‘Spoiler’ should be added to give the panels some extra space. The battery of the car should have the functionality to be charged at your normal electric socket, this can act as a good backup in those rainy days.
How solar car is manufactured?
The body of the car should be made out of carbon fiber, for its strength and lightness. The weight of the solar panel also has to be accounted for. Don’t opt for panels which incorporate glass in their designs as they can be quite heavy. Its interior should be kept as minimalistic as possible. This car won’t give you the convenience and comfort features of a regular car. This car is going to be built for efficiency and not speed so design its aerodynamics accordingly.
The energy generated and energy utilized should be very closely monitored and various parameters should be adjusted accordingly. For this gauges can be fitted in the car or wireless telemetry can be used. The longevity of the car directly depends on the life of the PVC. The energy output of PVC can reduce with the passage of time. The motor of the car should be highly efficient, the lesser power it consumes, the better it is. Providing a small gas powered engine as a backup can be a very practical thing to do. With the right materials and design you can successfully build your automobile.