I can see several flaws in that basic design concept/system architecture--what do cars do for power when they're not on the road? If it means they have to switch power sources, isn't that unnecessarily complex and costly? And doesn't it put too much "power" of another sort in too few hands?
Mydesign, the energy requirements for a stationary object--such as an energy source for a building that provides lights, heating and outlets for plugging in electric/electronic devices--will be very different from an object that must a) propel itself somewhere, and usually also b) provide energy for lights, heating and outlets for plugging in electric/electronic devices. It takes a huge amount of energy to self-propel, which we moderns have perhaps forgotten, since we're so used to the combustion engine and the "horseless carriage." But that aside, solar power is simply another potential source for electricity for an electric vehicle, but one without nearly enough energy density.
Ann, I think other than moving applications, everywhere solar power generators are using. Especially with industries, hospitals, offices etc. But I think its bit difficult & not that much reliable in fixing solar panels over a moving object, especially automobile.
Mydesign, thanks for the clarification on your end. I'm not surprised that the numbers were run for household solar, not other applications. Household solar is on everyone's radar, but other uses have a lot less visibility. Too bad, since it would be good to have more data about other applications easily available.
Ann, thanks for the clarification. When I further dig in to the article, it seems that the ROI and other statical details mentioned are for solar energy for house hold purposes. Am not sure about such statists for automobiles.
Mydesign, are you still talking about the use of solar energy for vehicles? In your previous comment on this, you mentioned that a Wikipedia article cited power density, cost and vehicle design considerations as constraints. I was pointing out that if cost is a problem, it probably has at least as much to do with the low power density, which would be an ongoing problem as a cost-of-ownership factor, as it would with the initial one-time cost of the solar module. So even if there's a 4-5 year ROI on the module--on a house or on a car--in a car there will still be a cost-of-ownership problem with low power density.
"cost is also a constraint, as you point out, but that's primarily because of the low energy/power density."
Ann, am not sure about the cost part. But for house hold purposes, vendors or service proving companies are clamming that ROI is possible within 4 year and there won't be any maintenance for 5-6 years.
LP (liquid propane) has been proposed several times as a transportation fuel. But even as a fuel for use in the home--as it is out here in the woods--it is hindered by the main problem of distribution. It has to be trucked in big tankers since it won't flow in pipes as natural gas does. OTOH, gas stations here routinely dispense LP, at least into small portable handheld tanks.
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
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