# Solar Powered Car

Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
http://thereifixedit.failblog.org/2011/08/09/white-trash-repairs-al-gores-daily-driver/

Not practical, and probably not safe, but it's certainly an interesting attempt at harvesting the sun for free energy. Now all he has to do is make sure he parks his car facing the south every day.

• Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

Oh my god that's funny.
• Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

I'm always amazed at people who tell me "you should put solar panels on your EV"
There is a large class of people that have no clue of quantitative thinking.
You know, car uses electricity - solar makes electricity: therefore put solar on car. No thought of the tremendous amount of electricity it takes to push your 2 ton tank down the road at 65mph and the relatively miniscule amount of juice you get from a couple modules gracing your car roof. I have a running discussion with a friend who just cannot understand why I can't put a wind turbine on my EV and make electricity to run it.
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car
solarix wrote: »
I have a running discussion with a friend who just cannot understand why I can't put a wind turbine on my EV and make electricity to run it.

Just tell him a wind turbine wouldn't interface with the transmogrifier.
4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
• Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

You know, physics is a wonderful thing. If you learn about it you can avoid wasting a lot of time, effort, and money trying to do something that isn't going to work out anyway. :roll:

And for those who want to do the math at home:
One electrical horsepower (not the same as a mechanical horsepower but will work for purposes of demonstration) is 746 Watts. To get that many Watts from PV (in direct, bright sun) requires a space approximately 5 feet by 10 feet.

Now, how many horsepower is your Goggomobil?

(And we don't even get to the part about added weight and wind drag.)
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car
techntrek wrote: »
Just tell him a wind turbine wouldn't interface with the transmogrifier.
You don't know nuthin'. Anyone with half a brain knows that you'll need a flux capacitor (http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Flux_Capacitor) to make it work.
• Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car
ggunn wrote: »
You don't know nuthin'. Anyone with half a brain knows that you'll need a flux capacitor (http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Flux_Capacitor) to make it work.

Boys! The transmogrifier is so the vehicle can change shape to suit your needs; coupe, sedan, wagon, pick-up truck, van. The Flux capacitor is to effect time travel so you'll never be late for work! Obviously you need both. Interface them with the thermador and you'll be fine. :roll:
Re: Solar Powered Car

Wind-Powered Car Actually Moves Faster Than Wind Speed

Nobody could change anyone's mind on this discussion... Either you believe it is possible, or you don't.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

BB, I believe it's entirely possible. I know that you can actually sail into the wind and move faster than the wind itself is blowing, so why can't you do the same thing in a car? I don't understand the physics of it complete, but I do have a general idea. It has something to do with the multiplying power of angles in motion.

PS: You guys are hilarious! ROFL!
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car
BB, I believe it's entirely possible. I know that you can actually sail into the wind and move faster than the wind itself is blowing...
But not at the same time, and not directly into the wind at any speed. I believe that the fastest sail heading is a beam reach perpendicular to the wind, and with enough sail and a sleek enough hull you can exceed the wind speed. But I am an amateur sailor at best.
Re: Solar Powered Car

Sailing faster than the wind (and "upwind") is done all the time with sails and boats/land vehicles/etc. And it is based on the relative motion of the air to direction of travel (at angles to each other).

The link I had was to a car with a propeller that can travel down wind (no angles) fast than the wind.

Personally, I do not believe that is possible without using stored energy.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

Nobody could change anyone's mind on this discussion... Either you believe it is possible, or you don't.Which I cant understand how people can keep their head in the sand and deny the facts.
And the facts are and have been scientifically measured to show it can be done.
• Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
Re: Solar Powered Car

JohnP: Correct, as ggunn mentioned, it all has to do with angles. You can actually test the hypothesis by using pieces of wood and marbles. But I digress, since we're getting way off the topic. lol.
• Registered Users Posts: 13
Re: Solar Powered Car
BB. wrote: »
Sailing faster than the wind (and "upwind") is done all the time with sails and boats/land vehicles/etc. And it is based on the relative motion of the air to direction of travel (at angles to each other).

The link I had was to a car with a propeller that can travel down wind (no angles) fast than the wind.

The car goes directly downwind, but the rotating blades go at an angle to the wind direction. Check out this updated post with coresponding vector diagrams for both:

BB. wrote: »
Personally, I do not believe that is possible without using stored energy.
It has been done, and independently verified:
http://www.nalsa.org/DownWind.html

No stored energy was used for propulsion:
http://www.nalsa.org/BlackBirdDDWSR/Observers%20ReportNALSA%20C4BlackbirdJuly2and%2032010.pdf
S2: We found no evidence of any energy storage devices. There has been some discussion on www
discussion groups that the rotating propeller constitutes a form of stored energy that might be converted to
propulsion by slowing it down or changing its pitch. Since the propeller is connected to the wheels with a
constant ratio connection slowing the propeller to harvest some of its rotational energy also slows the
craft. The fact that the craft is required to accelerate during the measurement means, for a fixed gear ratio
craft, that rotational energy is being added to the propeller to speed it up during the measurement period
rather than the other way around.
Adjusting the pitch of the propeller can make the craft accelerate more strongly just as sheeting in the sail
can have the same effect on a conventional sailing craft. This is a normal part of sailing: the sail (or
propeller in this case) is adjusted to maximize its ability to add forward velocity to the craft.
Operation of controls: All controls were operated by Cavallaro with no use of stored energy.
Re: Solar Powered Car

I still don't see how it was done... Otherwise, they should be able to go dead upwind too (same vectors). I.e., a 10 MPH zero degree offset head wind and hold 17.x MPH into the head wind. Same vectors/relative motion (wind wise--motion of the ground would not seem to matter once the vehicle is going faster than the wind).

When I followed the links, I saw mostly sail boats (yes, they can get within 30 degrees of up wind and can go faster than the wind--again when the wind is coming from the side, not front or back. Or gear boxes.

But that is OK--I can accept that there are things I don't understand.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 6
Re: Solar Powered Car
BB. wrote: »
I still don't see how it was done... Otherwise, they should be able to go dead upwind too (same vectors).

Yep -- and the same vehicle is currently modified to do exactly that ... directly upwind at an expected speed of near 2x windspeed.

www.fasterthanthewind.org
But that is OK--I can accept that there are things I don't understand.

I'd be happy to explain how it works (both upwind and down) if you or anyone wishes - also happy to answer any questions. I am one of the two primary designer/builders of the vehicle that set the record.

Not wishing to derail the thread -- if anyone want's to know more or go deeper they can ask or open a new topic.

JB
Re: Solar Powered Car

Welcome to the forum JB.

If you wish, you could continue on the original faster than wind thread here:

Wind-Powered Car Actually Moves Faster Than Wind Speed

Is a very interesting project.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 6
Re: Solar Powered Car

Thanks Bill -- I didn't realize that there was already a thread on the topic. Thanks for the heads up.

JB
BB. wrote: »
Welcome to the forum JB.

If you wish, you could continue on the original faster than wind thread here:

Wind-Powered Car Actually Moves Faster Than Wind Speed

Is a very interesting project.

-Bill