Solar on your home or vehicle
May 15, 2018
Solar and Electric Vehicles go together well or do they?
I often get asked why we don’t have solar panels on cars. It seems like a logical question until you have worked with solar PV for a while like I have. To make the most power the cells need to be facing the direct Sun. No shadows or poor angles. If they aren’t facing the Sun you get a lot less power. In fact they have tracking on some panels to get an extra 20% by tracking the Sun.
On a moving vehicle you also don’t have a lot of room for Solar PV panels. It takes about 2 KilloWatts of Solar panels to provide enough to cover most driving in a day. If you drive more than the average person you would need even more power and panels. If you watch the Solar Challenge racers they have light 1 person vehicles. They tilt them up facing the Sun near the end of the day to get more power. They don’t have air conditioning or any extras. They hope each day is Sunny and clear.
You would also have to have storage which electric cars already have but what if you park in the shade to keep you and your batteries cool? What if you are away or sick for a week or more and don’t drive the car? What would happen to the extra power the car makes?
What if you get in an accident with all those glass panels on the car? It could be a real unsafe mess. How would the car insurance cover this situation?
With a GRID tied hone you can mount the panels so you get shade from them. They are always facing South with no shade or odd angle since it’s a fixed location. If you make too much like I do you send the extra back to the GRID and get credit for it while helping your neighbors and the Utility.
So Solar PV is best on your home in a fixed location. You have enough room to make enough for your home, electric car and still help the Utility and get paid for it like I do. We need to all work together. Your home as well as your vehicle can be clean and renewable or not.
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