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  • Solar Car

    Hey guys,

    Hope this is the right place for this.

    Firstly it should probably be noted i have very little experiance with solar so please excuse and lack of knowledge. So basically we are building a solar car and the budget likely isn't going to stretch to a commercial encapsulation for our cells. We have a fibreglass roof that curves in one direction only. So i was hoping people could suggest what they think the best material to fully encapsulate our cells and to attach them to the fibreglass, also does anyone have a method suitable for encapsulating on a curve.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by AdelaideSolar View Post
    Hey guys,

    Hope this is the right place for this.

    Firstly it should probably be noted i have very little experiance with solar so please excuse and lack of knowledge. So basically we are building a solar car and the budget likely isn't going to stretch to a commercial encapsulation for our cells. We have a fibreglass roof that curves in one direction only. So i was hoping people could suggest what they think the best material to fully encapsulate our cells and to attach them to the fibreglass, also does anyone have a method suitable for encapsulating on a curve.

    Thanks!
    Can you tell us more about this project? Is this a hobby project, a design challenge for engineering students, a serious daily transportation vehicle, or what?

    Power density is always the challenge for solar-powered vehicles. There's just not enough surface area to deliver the amount of power most people expect from their cars.

    But assuming that's not an issue for this particular project....

    I think you may be getting into a pretty serious science experiment here. First you should figure out whether you can even bend the solar cells around the curve without them breaking. I've never built a solar panel myself, but I understand those buggers are pretty fragile until they're bonded to something else.

    My next suggestion is to try reaching out to these guys. I have no clue if they will respond, but it looks like they probably solved the same problem as applied to an airplane wing.
    16x TenK 410W modules + 14x TenK 500W inverters

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    • #3
      So the car is being built by final year enginneering students for this years world solar challenge. It's on a tight budget for this kind of thing with the entire build expected to come in at $150-$180k. We already have an idea of how the encapsulation will work but thought we would see what ideas come from here. The cells can bend to the curve of the car so that isn't an issue

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AdelaideSolar View Post
        So the car is being built by final year enginneering students for this years world solar challenge. It's on a tight budget for this kind of thing with the entire build expected to come in at $150-$180k. We already have an idea of how the encapsulation will work but thought we would see what ideas come from here. The cells can bend to the curve of the car so that isn't an issue
        OK, good luck, and I'm glad you've got some resources and thinking behind the project.

        I doubt you'll find many ideas here. Not many solar enthusiasts and random Internet folks are making their own panels.
        16x TenK 410W modules + 14x TenK 500W inverters

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        • #5
          Wow! This is a great project once done! But I think it will be very much costly. I hope you can share some pictures of your progress!

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          • #6
            Wow! This will be a wonderful project! I am sending you all good lucks on this project. This will truly help our nature. Have you got some pictures to share?

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            • #7
              Solar Car

              hay is there anybody that has added solar to there car that can charge or add power going down the road and sitting in the parking lot at work?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GsGoodwill View Post
                hay is there anybody that has added solar to there car that can charge or add power going down the road and sitting in the parking lot at work?
                I very much doubt it since the air resistance of any reasonable cost panels would more than overcome any extra energy they produce.

                Things like the solar planes use flexible cells integrated as part of the wing and fuselage structure, and more importantly the power budget of the plane is incredibly low compared to a normal plane. Same thing applies to solar powered cars.

                One reference point on what is practical and what is not is the solar roof option on the Prius. Rather than charging the battery it just provides enough power to run a small ventilating fan when the car is parked in open sunlight.
                SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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