When it comes to the future of our private cars and transport we really need to start looking towards alternative ways of fuelling and power.
With fossil fuels being depleted at an alarming rate and the resulting damage that this is doing to our planet, we really do need to address this hotly debated issue.
How Do Solar Cars Work?
One of the most innovative and new technologies is to use solar energy to power our vehicles. Solar powered cars work by using energy taken directly from the sun and converting it into usable energy to provide power. Solar panels built into the car capture the solar energy using photovoltaic cells (PV Cells) and convert this energy into electric energy to propel the car or part of the car.
Disadvantages of Solar Cars
At present, solar powered cars are very much in the development stage and as yet are not being sold for day to day transportation. However, solar technology is used frequently in our cars and vehicles in an indirect way as well as in boats. This solar technology has been derived from research and development in the aerospace and automotive industries. The limitations at the moment are that performance is being limited by the lack of energy input going into the car. Even when using the best solar cells, they can only collect power using the available surface on the car and this as yet does not provide the amount of power desired.
Solar cars are limited to just the single seat and they have no space for luggage or passengers. They are also constructed of a very lightweight material for their bodywork as they need to be ultra light to save weight. This obviously then brings up safety issues in the event of a crash and also takes away some of the convenience of having a car.
The Future of Solar Cars
The development of solar cars goes on and they make an exciting prospect for our future and the preservation of our planet. Cars are fitted with wireless gauges which carefully monitor it’s energy consumption as well as the amount of solar energy they are capturing at any given time. However, solar cars are expensive to produce and only work best when the sun is at full strength. This means the car needs large batteries in which it can store power when the sun isn’t shining.
One successful area in which solar cars can be used however, is for golfing carts. These are used to carry golfers from one hole to the next on larger golf courses. Whilst the golf cart is stood still, the solar panels charge up the on board batteries which directly power the motor. This works well because the car is not being constantly driven.
For more information on solar cars and power you will find many resources and websites online. These explain in further detail the design and technology process as well as more in depth information into this exciting technology.
Guest post written by Sarah Carmichal, exploring how silicone sheeting is used in solar power across the world. Reducing costs, saving energy and the planet.