Like solar-powered homes, solar cars harness energy from the sun by converting it into electricity. This electricity fuels the battery that runs the car's motor. Instead of using a battery, some solar cars direct the power straight to an electric motor.
on a bright, sunny day, the sun's rays give off approximately 1,000 watts of energy per square meter of the planet's surface. If we could collect all of that energy, we could easily power our homes and offices for free.
If energy from the sun is clean and free, why aren't we using it to power cars? Is a solar-powered car a good solution?
Solar power is the term for using the sun's energy to power a device or an electrical system. Solar panels are made up of a grid of solar cells. These cells collect the sun's energy and convert it into electrical energy.
Conversion of solar power to electrical power.
Photovoltaic cells are made of special materials called semiconductors such as silicon, which is currently used most commonly. Ba?sically, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely.
PV cells also all have one or more electric field that acts to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell, we can draw that current off for external use.
The electron flow provides the current, and the cell's electric field causes a voltage. With both current and voltage, we have power, which is the product of the two.
Much like solar-powered homes, solar cars harness energy from the sun, converting it into electricity. That electricity then fuels the battery that runs the car's motor. Instead of using a battery, some solar cars direct the power straight to anelectric motor.
Solar cars can accomplish this through photovoltaic cells (PVC).
PVCs are the components in solar paneling that convert the sun's energy to electricity. They're made up of semiconductors, usually made of silicon, that absorb the light. The sunlight's energy then frees electrons in the semiconductors, creating a flow of electrons. That flow generates the electricity that powers the battery or the specialized car motor in solar cars
Building a solar car is a very ambitious goal, but one that is achievable through hard work and commitment. One of the first things to do is to organize a group of people interested in building a car, and planning a specific goal. How much money will you need to build a solar car? If the least expensive parts are used, the cost of a solar car is about $12,000, not including trip costs to the competition. You will need a core group of fundraisers who are willing to spend the year making presentations to businesses and speaking to individuals at their home. You will also need to assess what materials and tools you need and get several people focused on building the car itself. It may be a difficult road the first year, but the things you learn along the way will last a lifetime!
Solar cars are powered by the sun's energy. The main component of a solar car is its solar array, which collect the energy from the sun and converts it into usable electrical energy. The solar cells collect a portion of the sun's energy and stores it into the batteries of the solar car. Before that happens, power trackers converts the energy collected from the solar array to the proper system voltage, so that the batteries and the motor can use it. After the energy is stored in the batteries, it is available for use by the motor & motor controller to drive the car. The motor controller adjusts the amount of energy that flows to the motor to correspond to the throttle. The motor uses that energy to drive the wheels.
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