Solar Powered Cars / Pros and Cons

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Renewable Solar Energy

Solar powered cars run by the sun have been able to reach speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour. However, a solar powered cars main flaw is that the solar panel designs on solar  cars need to cover a large area atop the car to function, which leads to designs including wide wings and flat roofs. Not aesthetically pleasing, and not practical either.

To most, upon glimpsing a true solar powered car they will be strongly reminded of the children’s TV series ‘The Jetsons’. After all, most solar powered cars are oddly shaped – sometimes even flying saucer-esque – and are covered in little mirrors and panels to suck energy from the sun. These cars look odd, but they do exist. In fact, in the Australian Outback (which benefits from glaring sun rays) a car powered purely by the sun have reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Not particularly impressive given the world’s fastest combustion engine car, the Bugatti Veyron, can reach 250mph – but not bad. The effect that solar powered cars have on the environment is virtually nil, and while the shape and design are still somewhat bizarre, that is something that can be tampered with over time. So, does the future see us starting the solar panels on our cars rather than the engine?

Well, not quite. While 100 mph may seem pretty good, the cost of getting to that speed was extortionate – well out of the reach of most household budgets.

Another problem is momentum; rather than just generating steam like traditional panels, the solar panels on cars are trying to create enough force to move a stationary object. While there is a chance in the future someone will see a way around this problem, for now, solar powered cars remain the playthings of scientists – not the new family vehicle.

Solar Powered Car to Hit Streets in Taiwan : TreeHugger

It started out as a Taiwanese entry in the Australian World Solar Challenge and was scaled up. “As [our team] has done quite well in the past 10 years at international solar car races — this year ranking second out of more than

Publish Date: 12/30/2007 9:11

First SolarPowered Car to Drive Around the World Completes

We’ve reported before on the progress of the first solarpowered car to make a round-the-world.

Publish Date: 12/04/2008 9:57

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