Solar Cars Project

A solar car as name suggests is a car that is fueled by the solar energy and is usually used for transport purposes. Coming in fascinating range of shapes and sizes, these cars are very much reliable and stable.
The driver needs to keep an eye on the gauges to keep the car in control. But some cars come without gauges and allow the team of the driver to keep control of the capture of solar energy, and energy consumption of the cars. And so the driver can focus on the driving.
People have been building their own solar cars as long back as in 1970s.

The Working:

The solar cars are nit an individual entity but is the embodiment of aerospace, automotive, alternative source of energy. The amount of energy given to the car will decide the design and structure of the car. The cars are build for solar car race purposes and also for commercial use on roads and likewise the design of the car might change. These cars depend on the  energy from the solar arrays and they have photovoltaic cells that convert the solar energy into the electrical energy which is used to run the car.
These photovoltaic cells are first arranged in modules which are again combined together to form huge arrays. These arrays can generate energy of up-to 2 KW. There are various styles of arranging these modules which can be vertical, horizontal, adjustable or many other styles depending on the need and design of the car. These are arranged in such a way so as to minimize the aerodynamic effects and optimize energy for maximum utilization and output.
Basically, this photovoltaic cells consist of semiconductor material like silicon, indium etc. When sunlight falls on these the free electron in these are excited and start flowing freely in a direction creating currents. This is different from other solar energy based devices as this allows direct conversion of the solar energy to electrical energy whereas other devices utilize the concentration ability and thus creating higher temperatures. These thermal energy is then converted into electrical energy for running devices. The most commonly material to be used is seen to be crystalline silicon.
Solar cells have been installed in the headlights as well as on the roofs by different companies differently. Some solar powered cars manufacturers link it with a lithium-ion battery which can produce power and store it within few hours to run up to as longs as 300 km with an average speed of 60mph.


There are various records especially quantified in the guinness book of world records for these solar cars. The current record status has gone as far as up-to 91 km/h.


There are some major challenges being faced by this marvelous piece of development. The solar cells range from $10-$400. The more expensive they get, the better they function. A solar car might cost up-to $20,000 which does not sound like a feasible pice. Many solar car races have been going on since 1980s but practically these cars are not so much seen on roads. The design needs to be a combination of efficiently packed cells creating more and more current and reaching greater speeds and feasibility so as to make these cars possibly run on road and along with reducing resistance using aerodynamics in accordance to increase the efficiency. Solar power achieves an efficiency of about 90% when compared to the 15% efficiency of the gasoline engine in converting the available energy from resource to actual power of the car as seen on road. All this fuel thrift doesn't translate to desirable aesthetics, however.
Another problem to be resolved is that on rainy days and at night when solar energy is not available, the energy from battery is used but it should also have a reserve for secondary fuel source in case battery runs out.
Therefore it would not be wrong to say that solar cars in someway have to face certain challenges at hand and have to come over the short comings but definitely is viewed as the very much possible intervention in near future in the field of technology.
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