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Solar car

A solar car is a solar vehicle used for land transport. Solar cars usually run on only power from the sun, although some models will supplement that power using a battery, or use solar panels to recharge batteries or run auxiliary systems for a car that mainly uses battery power.

Tokai Challenger, the winner of the 2009 World Solar Challenge, with an average speed of 100.5 km/h (62 mph) over the 2,998 km (1,858 mi.) race
The Lightyear One, scheduled to go into production in 2021

Solar cars combine technology typically used in the aerospace, bicycle, alternative energy and automotive industries. The design of a solar vehicle is severely limited by the amount of energy input into the car. Most solar cars have been built for the purpose of solar car races. Some prototypes have been designed for public use. Currently no cars primarily powered by the sun are available commercially.

Solar cars depend on a solar array that uses photovoltaic cells (PV cells) to convert sunlight into electricity. Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat, PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity. When sunlight (photons) strike PV cells, they excite electrons and allow them to flow, creating an electric current. PV cells are made of semiconductor materials such as silicon and alloys of indium, gallium and nitrogen. Crystalline silicon is the most common material used and has an efficiency rate of 15-20%.

Contents

The first model solar car invented was a tiny 15-inch vehicle created by General Motors employee, William G. Cobb. Designated the Sunmobile, he displayed it in 1955 at the Chicago, Powerama convention. It was made up of 12 selenium photovoltaic cells and a small electric motor.

The solar array consists of hundreds of solar cells converting sunlight into electricity. In order to construct an array, PV cells are placed together to form modules which are placed together to form an array. The larger arrays in use can produce over 2 kilowatts (2.6 hp).

The solar array can be mounted in six ways:

  • horizontal. This most common arrangement gives most overall power during most of the day in low latitudes or higher latitude summers and offers little interaction with the wind. Horizontal arrays can be integrated or be in the form of a free canopy.
  • vertical. This arrangement is sometimes found in free standing or integrated sails to harness wind energy. Useful solar power is limited to mornings, evenings, or winters and when the vehicle is pointing in the right direction.
  • adjustable. Free solar arrays can often be tilted around the axis of travel in order to increase power when the sun is low and well to the side. An alternative is to tilt the whole vehicle when parked. Two-axis adjustment is only found on marine vehicles, where the aerodynamic resistance is of less importance than with road vehicles.
  • integrated. Some vehicles cover every available surface with solar cells. Some of the cells will be at an optimal angle whereas others will be shaded.
  • trailer. Solar trailers are especially useful for retrofitting existing vehicles with little stability, e.g. bicycles. Some trailers also include the batteries and others also the drive motor.
  • remote. By mounting the solar array at a stationary location instead of the vehicle, power can be maximised and resistance minimized. The virtual grid-connection however involves more electrical losses than with true solar vehicles and the battery must be larger.

The choice of solar array geometry involves an optimization between power output, aerodynamic resistance and vehicle mass, as well as practical considerations. For example, a free horizontal canopy gives 2-3 times the surface area of a vehicle with integrated cells but offers better cooling of the cells and shading of the riders. There are also thin flexible solar arrays in development.

Solar arrays on solar cars are mounted and encapsulated very differently from stationary solar arrays. Solar arrays on solar cars are usually mounted using industrial grade double-sided adhesive tape right onto the car's body. The arrays are encapsulated using thin layers of Tedlar.

Some solar cars use gallium arsenide solar cells, with efficiencies around thirty percent. Other solar cars use silicon solar cells, with efficiencies around twenty percent.[citation needed]

The battery pack in a typical solar car is sufficient to allow the car to go 250 miles (400 km) without sun, and allow the car to continuously travel at speeds of 60 mph (97 km/h).

The motors used in solar cars typically generate about 2 or 3 horsepower, yet experimental light solar cars may attain the same speed as a typical family car (100 mph (160 km/h)).

To keep the car running smoothly, the driver must monitor multiple gauges to spot possible problems. Cars without gauges almost always feature wireless telemetry, which allows the driver's team to monitor the car's energy consumption, solar energy capture and other parameters and thereby freeing the driver to concentrate on driving.

Main article: Solar car racing
Parts of this article (those related to American Solar Challenge from July 21–28, 2014) need to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(October 2014)
Solar cars from University of Michigan and University of Minnesota heading west toward the finish line in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge.

Two solar car races are the World Solar Challenge and the American Solar Challenge, overland road rally-style competitions contested by a variety of university and corporate teams.

The World Solar Challenge features a field of competitors from around the world who race to cross the Australian continent, over a distance of 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi). Speeds of the vehicles have steadily increased. So, for example, the high speeds of 2005 race participants led to the rules being changed for solar cars starting in the 2007 race and 2014 also.

The American Solar Challenge, previously known as the 'North American Solar Challenge' and 'Sunrayce USA', features mostly collegiate teams racing in timed intervals in the United States and Canada. This race also changed rules for the most recent race due to teams reaching the regulated speed limits. The most recent American Solar Challenge took place from July 6 to the 22nd, 2018 from Omaha, Nebraska to Bend, Oregon. The Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge is an annual solar-powered car race for high school students. The event attracts teams from around the world, but mostly from American high schools. The race was first held in 1995. Each event is the end product of a two-year education cycle launched by the Winston Solar Car Team. In odd-numbered years, the race is a road course that starts at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas; the end of the course varies from year to year. In even-numbered years, the race is a track race around the Texas Motor Speedway. Dell has sponsored the event since 2002.

Solar cells spread over the top of this car produce enough energy to keep its electric motor running.

The South African Solar Challenge is a bi-annual two-week race of solar-powered cars through the length and breadth of South Africa. Teams will have to build their own cars, design their own engineering systems and race those same machines through the most demanding terrain that solar cars have ever seen. The 2008 race proved that this event can attract the interest of the public, and that it has the necessary international backing from the FIA. Late in September, all entrants will take off from Pretoria and make their way to Cape Town via the N1, then drive along the coast to Durban, before climbing the escarpment on their way back to the finish line in Pretoria 10 days later. In 2008 the event was endorsed by International Solarcar Federation (ISF), Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) making it the first Solar Race to receive endorsement from these 3 organizations.

There are other distance races, such as Suzuka, Phaethon, WGC (WSR/JISFC/WSBR) and the World Solar Rally in Taiwan. Suzuka and WGC is a yearly track race in Japan and Phaethon was part of the Cultural Olympiad in Greece right before the 2004 Olympics.

Sunswift IV and control vehicle during speed record attempts at HMAS Albatross.

Guinness World Records recognize a land speed record for vehicles powered only by solar panels. This record is currently held by the Sky Ace TIGA from the Ashiya University. The record of 91.332 km/h (56.75 mph) was set on 20 August 2014 at the Shimojishima Airport, in Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan. The previous record was held by the University of New South Wales with the car Sunswift IV. Its 25-kilogram (55 lb) battery was removed so the vehicle was powered only by its solar panels. The record of 88.8 km/h (55.2 mph) was set on 7 January 2011 at the naval air base HMAS Albatross in Nowra, breaking the record previously held by the General Motors car Sunraycer of 78.3 kilometres per hour (48.7 mph). The record takes place over a flying 500 metres (1,600 ft) stretch, and is the average of two runs in opposite directions.

Prototype of the Sion family car.

The first solar family car was built in 2013. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, have also developed a better solar car which can recharge more quickly, due to better materials used in the solar panels.

Chinese solar panel manufacturer Hanergy plans to build and sell solar cars equipped with lithium-ion batteries to consumers in China. Hanergy says that five to six hours of sunlight should allow the cars’ thin-film solar cells to generate between 8-10 kWh of power a day, allowing the car to travel about 80 km (50 mi) on solar power alone. Maximum range is about 350 km (217 mi).

In June 2019 the solar-electric Lightyear One was announced. Designed by former engineers from Tesla and Ferrari, the car’s hood and roof are composed of solar panels. The vehicle also charges on regular electric power as well as fast-charging stations, and is expected to go into limited production in 2021, with a cost of around 135 thousand dollars.

First prototype of the Aptera solar powered EV

In August 2019, Aptera Motors announced a funding campaign for a solar-powered, very efficient "Never Charge" EV, the Aptera, with up to a 1000 mile range. That funding campaign was successful and the Aptera prototype was shown and the EV launched on December 4, 2020.

In July 2020, the German car manufacturer Audi signed an MOU with an Israeli start-up Apollo-Power for development plan to incorporate the company proprietary lightweight flexible panels into Car parts. Apollo-Power's Agenda is to turn every car in the world to become Solar.

  1. "Pimentel, D. "Renewable Energy: Economic and Environmental Issues"". Archived from the original on 2020-09-24. Retrieved2011-01-28.
  2. [h/first-solar-car.htm "History of the Solar car"] Check |url= value (). Automo Story 386N. Arrowhead Avenue San Bernardino, CA 92415. Retrieved2018-02-22.
  3. Lynch, J., Power from sunlight: photovoltaics
  4. The Leading Edge, Tamai, Goro, Robert Bentley, Inc., 1999, p. 137
  5. "Why Not a Practical Solar Powered Car?". Welweb.org. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  6. Fastest solar-powered car on tour
  7. "American Solar Challenge 2018". 23 October 2017.
  8. "Fastest solar-powered vehicle". Guinness World Records. 2014-08-20. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  9. World's fastest solar car smashed Guinness World Record
  10. "Student team unveils world's first solar-powered family car". Tue.nl. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  11. "Tiny solar cells could soon charge electric vehicles while on the road". Gizmag.com. 2015-08-29. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  12. "Hanergy Unveils Solar-Powered Cars to Expand Use of Technology". Bloomberg. 2016-07-02. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  13. Tycho De Feijter. "Hanergy Launches Solar Powered Cars In China". Forbes.com. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  14. "Hanergy unveils solar powered "zero charge" EVs". RenewEconomy. 2016-07-04. Retrieved2017-12-11.
  15. "The Lightyear One is a long-range solar-powered EV". 26 June 2019.
  16. Voelcker, John (2019-08-28). "Exclusive: 3-Wheeled Aptera Reboots as World's Most Efficient Electric Car". IEEE Spectrum. IEEE. Retrieved2020-01-20.
  17. "Aptera Motors Corp. | Electric Vehicles". Aptera. Aptera Motors Corp. RetrievedJanuary 4, 2020.
  18. Hardwick, Sarah (2020-12-04). "Aptera Reveals First Never Charge Solar Vehicle". Aptera_Motors. Retrieved2020-12-06.
Wikimedia Commons has media related toSolar-powered automobiles.
Wikinews has related news:

Solar car
Solar car Language Watch Edit A solar car is a solar vehicle used for land transport Solar cars usually run on only power from the sun although some models will supplement that power using a battery or use solar panels to recharge batteries or run auxiliary systems for a car that mainly uses battery power Tokai Challenger the winner of the 2009 World Solar Challenge with an average speed of 100 5 km h 62 mph over the 2 998 km 1 858 mi raceThe Lightyear One scheduled to go into production in 2021 Solar cars combine technology typically used in the aerospace bicycle alternative energy and automotive industries The design of a solar vehicle is severely limited by the amount of energy input into the car Most solar cars have been built for the purpose of solar car races Some prototypes have been designed for public use Currently no cars primarily powered by the sun are available commercially Solar cars depend on a solar array that uses photovoltaic cells PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity 1 When sunlight photons strike PV cells they excite electrons and allow them to flow creating an electric current PV cells are made of semiconductor materials such as silicon and alloys of indium gallium and nitrogen Crystalline silicon is the most common material used and has an efficiency rate of 15 20 Contents 1 History 2 Solar array 3 Batteries 4 Motors 5 Telemetry 6 Races 7 Speed record 8 Cars for public use 9 See also 10 References 11 External linksHistory EditThe first model solar car invented was a tiny 15 inch vehicle created by General Motors employee William G Cobb Designated the Sunmobile he displayed it in 1955 at the Chicago Powerama convention It was made up of 12 selenium photovoltaic cells and a small electric motor 2 Solar array EditThe solar array consists of hundreds of solar cells converting sunlight into electricity In order to construct an array PV cells are placed together to form modules which are placed together to form an array 3 The larger arrays in use can produce over 2 kilowatts 2 6 hp Cells modules and arrays The solar array can be mounted in six ways horizontal This most common arrangement gives most overall power during most of the day in low latitudes or higher latitude summers and offers little interaction with the wind Horizontal arrays can be integrated or be in the form of a free canopy vertical This arrangement is sometimes found in free standing or integrated sails to harness wind energy 4 Useful solar power is limited to mornings evenings or winters and when the vehicle is pointing in the right direction adjustable Free solar arrays can often be tilted around the axis of travel in order to increase power when the sun is low and well to the side An alternative is to tilt the whole vehicle when parked Two axis adjustment is only found on marine vehicles where the aerodynamic resistance is of less importance than with road vehicles integrated Some vehicles cover every available surface with solar cells Some of the cells will be at an optimal angle whereas others will be shaded trailer Solar trailers are especially useful for retrofitting existing vehicles with little stability e g bicycles Some trailers also include the batteries and others also the drive motor remote By mounting the solar array at a stationary location instead of the vehicle power can be maximised and resistance minimized The virtual grid connection however involves more electrical losses than with true solar vehicles and the battery must be larger The choice of solar array geometry involves an optimization between power output aerodynamic resistance and vehicle mass as well as practical considerations For example a free horizontal canopy gives 2 3 times the surface area of a vehicle with integrated cells but offers better cooling of the cells and shading of the riders There are also thin flexible solar arrays in development Solar arrays on solar cars are mounted and encapsulated very differently from stationary solar arrays Solar arrays on solar cars are usually mounted using industrial grade double sided adhesive tape right onto the car s body The arrays are encapsulated using thin layers of Tedlar Some solar cars use gallium arsenide solar cells with efficiencies around thirty percent Other solar cars use silicon solar cells with efficiencies around twenty percent citation needed Batteries EditThe battery pack in a typical solar car is sufficient to allow the car to go 250 miles 400 km without sun and allow the car to continuously travel at speeds of 60 mph 97 km h Motors EditThe motors used in solar cars typically generate about 2 or 3 horsepower 5 yet experimental light solar cars may attain the same speed as a typical family car 100 mph 160 km h 6 Telemetry EditTo keep the car running smoothly the driver must monitor multiple gauges to spot possible problems Cars without gauges almost always feature wireless telemetry which allows the driver s team to monitor the car s energy consumption solar energy capture and other parameters and thereby freeing the driver to concentrate on driving Races EditMain article Solar car racing Parts of this article those related to American Solar Challenge from July 21 28 2014 need to be updated Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information October 2014 Solar cars from University of Michigan and University of Minnesota heading west toward the finish line in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge Two solar car races are the World Solar Challenge and the American Solar Challenge overland road rally style competitions contested by a variety of university and corporate teams The World Solar Challenge features a field of competitors from around the world who race to cross the Australian continent over a distance of 3 000 kilometres 1 900 mi Speeds of the vehicles have steadily increased So for example the high speeds of 2005 race participants led to the rules being changed for solar cars starting in the 2007 race and 2014 also The American Solar Challenge previously known as the North American Solar Challenge and Sunrayce USA features mostly collegiate teams racing in timed intervals in the United States and Canada This race also changed rules for the most recent race due to teams reaching the regulated speed limits The most recent American Solar Challenge took place from July 6 to the 22nd 2018 from Omaha Nebraska to Bend Oregon 7 The Dell Winston School Solar Car Challenge is an annual solar powered car race for high school students The event attracts teams from around the world but mostly from American high schools The race was first held in 1995 Each event is the end product of a two year education cycle launched by the Winston Solar Car Team In odd numbered years the race is a road course that starts at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas the end of the course varies from year to year In even numbered years the race is a track race around the Texas Motor Speedway Dell has sponsored the event since 2002 Solar cells spread over the top of this car produce enough energy to keep its electric motor running The South African Solar Challenge is a bi annual two week race of solar powered cars through the length and breadth of South Africa Teams will have to build their own cars design their own engineering systems and race those same machines through the most demanding terrain that solar cars have ever seen The 2008 race proved that this event can attract the interest of the public and that it has the necessary international backing from the FIA Late in September all entrants will take off from Pretoria and make their way to Cape Town via the N1 then drive along the coast to Durban before climbing the escarpment on their way back to the finish line in Pretoria 10 days later In 2008 the event was endorsed by International Solarcar Federation ISF Federation Internationale de l Automobile FIA World Wildlife Fund WWF making it the first Solar Race to receive endorsement from these 3 organizations There are other distance races such as Suzuka Phaethon WGC WSR JISFC WSBR and the World Solar Rally in Taiwan Suzuka and WGC is a yearly track race in Japan and Phaethon was part of the Cultural Olympiad in Greece right before the 2004 Olympics Speed record Edit Sunswift IV and control vehicle during speed record attempts at HMAS Albatross Guinness World Records recognize a land speed record for vehicles powered only by solar panels This record is currently held by the Sky Ace TIGA from the Ashiya University 8 The record of 91 332 km h 56 75 mph was set on 20 August 2014 at the Shimojishima Airport in Miyakojima Okinawa Japan The previous record was held by the University of New South Wales with the car Sunswift IV Its 25 kilogram 55 lb battery was removed so the vehicle was powered only by its solar panels 9 The record of 88 8 km h 55 2 mph was set on 7 January 2011 at the naval air base HMAS Albatross in Nowra breaking the record previously held by the General Motors car Sunraycer of 78 3 kilometres per hour 48 7 mph The record takes place over a flying 500 metres 1 600 ft stretch and is the average of two runs in opposite directions Cars for public use EditSee also List of prototype solar powered cars Prototype of the Sion family car The first solar family car was built in 2013 10 Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have also developed a better solar car which can recharge more quickly due to better materials used in the solar panels 11 Chinese solar panel manufacturer Hanergy plans to build and sell solar cars equipped with lithium ion batteries to consumers in China 12 13 Hanergy says that five to six hours of sunlight should allow the cars thin film solar cells to generate between 8 10 kWh of power a day allowing the car to travel about 80 km 50 mi on solar power alone 14 Maximum range is about 350 km 217 mi In June 2019 the solar electric Lightyear One was announced Designed by former engineers from Tesla and Ferrari the car s hood and roof are composed of solar panels The vehicle also charges on regular electric power as well as fast charging stations and is expected to go into limited production in 2021 with a cost of around 135 thousand dollars 15 First prototype of the Aptera solar powered EV In August 2019 Aptera Motors announced a funding campaign for a solar powered very efficient Never Charge EV the Aptera with up to a 1000 mile range 16 17 That funding campaign was successful and the Aptera prototype was shown and the EV launched on December 4 2020 18 In July 2020 the German car manufacturer Audi signed an MOU with an Israeli start up Apollo Power for development plan to incorporate the company proprietary lightweight flexible panels into Car parts Apollo Power s Agenda is to turn every car in the world to become Solar See also Edit Renewable energy portal Energy portal List of solar car teams List of prototype solar powered cars Electric boat Kit car The Quiet Achiever List of motorized trikesReferences Edit Pimentel D Renewable Energy Economic and Environmental Issues Archived from the original on 2020 09 24 Retrieved 2011 01 28 h first solar car htm History of the Solar car Check url value help Automo Story 386N Arrowhead Avenue San Bernardino CA 92415 Retrieved 2018 02 22 Lynch J Power from sunlight photovoltaics The Leading Edge Tamai Goro Robert Bentley Inc 1999 p 137 Why Not a Practical Solar Powered Car Welweb org Retrieved 2017 12 11 Fastest solar powered car on tour American Solar Challenge 2018 23 October 2017 Fastest solar powered vehicle Guinness World Records 2014 08 20 Retrieved 2017 12 11 World s fastest solar car smashed Guinness World Record Student team unveils world s first solar powered family car Tue nl Retrieved 2017 12 11 Tiny solar cells could soon charge electric vehicles while on the road Gizmag com 2015 08 29 Retrieved 2017 12 11 Hanergy Unveils Solar Powered Cars to Expand Use of Technology Bloomberg 2016 07 02 Retrieved 2017 12 11 Tycho De Feijter Hanergy Launches Solar Powered Cars In China Forbes com Retrieved 2017 12 11 Hanergy unveils solar powered zero charge EVs RenewEconomy 2016 07 04 Retrieved 2017 12 11 The Lightyear One is a long range solar powered EV 26 June 2019 Voelcker John 2019 08 28 Exclusive 3 Wheeled Aptera Reboots as World s Most Efficient Electric Car IEEE Spectrum IEEE Retrieved 2020 01 20 Aptera Motors Corp Electric Vehicles Aptera Aptera Motors Corp Retrieved January 4 2020 Hardwick Sarah 2020 12 04 Aptera Reveals First Never Charge Solar Vehicle Aptera Motors Retrieved 2020 12 06 External links Edithttps scientificgems wordpress com solar racing american solar challenge 2018 Wikimedia Commons has media related to Solar powered automobiles Wikinews has related news Solar car travels around the world Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Solar car amp oldid 1049900645, 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