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.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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