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Greetings from Australia

  #1  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:09 PM
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Default Greetings from Australia

G'day,

Although I'm not a Hybrid car user, I still have a huge interest in the area of Hybrid/Full Electric cars.

Did a quick google on EV/Hybrid Forums and found this wonderful place.
After watching 'Who Killed The Electric Car' an idea popped into my mind about Hybrids and EV's.

Why not intergrate solar panels into the actual chassis/panels of the car, in other words. . . free energy, in a true sense.

We've come a long way with paints and plastics, covering up the 'look' that most users would detest in having on their car wouldn't be so much of a problem now.

I imagine like most car users, you get stuck in traffic, you park your car out in the sun and you don't want to pay astronomical prices for fuel.

Wouldn't this be the answer, when you're stuck in traffic, your car charges, when you're driving, you're car is charging and when you park it's still charging.

With have the technology for ultra-thin strips of solar panelling.
Why not use it ?

Cheers,
Sam.
 
  #2  
Old 11-24-2006, 07:47 AM
bwilson4web's Avatar
Engineering first
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 5,613
Talking Re: Greetings from Australia

Welcome!
Originally Posted by OZSammy View Post

Although I'm not a Hybrid car user, I still have a huge interest in the area of Hybrid/Full Electric cars.

Did a quick google on EV/Hybrid Forums and found this wonderful place.
After watching 'Who Killed The Electric Car' an idea popped into my mind about Hybrids and EV's.

Why not intergrate solar panels into the actual chassis/panels of the car, in other words. . . free energy, in a true sense. . . .
The primary problem is the solar panels do not generate enough energy to run the car for most folks' daily usage. To get an idea, look at the mileage database for the various cars and then look at their reported usage (aka., miles per day.) This gives you an idea of how much gasoline energy is needed by these cars. It is then fairly easy to convert the gasoline energy to kW and compare it to the actual energy generated by "n" square meters of solar cells.

What is more practical is to have a home installation of solar cells with energy storage and waste energy (the unusable heat) for the home. This maximizes solar energy capture and use. Then the car simply plugs into the 'home grid' to recharge the batteries for the daily commute.

What I'd like to suggest is you might start looking at how you might go hybrid: (1) buy or (2) build. Used hybrids are fairly affordable (especially if you use some of the skeptics arguments "Oh I don't know. Those batteries are pretty dang old.") Get a good deal on a used hybrid and then you'll have the perfect lab to try out your ideas.

Bob Wilson
 
  #3  
Old 11-29-2006, 10:41 AM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 955
Default Re: Greetings from Australia

Sam- It's a great idea. Not a completely novel idea, and not a completely hybrid-related idea, but a solar car is definitely a viable area for more research and innovative ideas, if you have them, and I would encourage you to get involved in it if you have a real interest. For example, when I was in college, I had a good friend who worked on the Stanford Solar Car project. Their website is here:

http://www.stanford.edu/group/solarcar/about.htm

You can find a lot more stuff there and probably by contacting them if you want; they have a lot of enthusiasm for it and would probably welcome your interest. I am not an expert myself, so I can't give you anything but links. Here's another one: http://www.stanford.edu/group/solarcar/projects.htm to find out about their past and current solar car projects.

Good luck! It's not a commercially viable idea .... yet... but it's still fun to dream, and you never know what the future will bring.
 
  #4  
Old 12-01-2006, 03:02 PM
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The Devil's in the detail
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 148
Default Re: Greetings from Australia

Sam. Whereabouts in Auz are you.

I'm in Melbourne. I have a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid and couldn't be happier. It was about $5-6K cheaper than the Prius and gets about the same FE...and looks a lot better.

This is a great car to drive and own, and I can't see that I will ever own a "normal" car again.

Don't be mislead by the US MPG numbers either. Our gallon holds 4.54L and theirs 3.785

Here are some ready reconner numbers for you:

To convert Litres/100KLM to Australian MPG divide the L/100klm into 282

To convert Litres/100KLM to US MPG divide the L/100klm into 235


So...4.6 L/100klm = 61mpg in Australia and 51mpg in US.


Get out there and buy a hybrid now. Who knows where fuel prices are going...most likely way up. We've already seen prices hit $1.50 per litre in Melbourne, and I'm sure we'll crack $2.00 next year.

I looked at the solar panel stuff too, and Bob is right. You'd need a solar array to size of a truck for it to work. Solar and wind at home is a much better solution.

I see that Bob has taken his "photo" of his posting...maybe he didn't want to scare you!!

They're not a bad bunch on this forum, and you'll get lots of great advice should you decide to "go green". You'll breath a lot easier too!!
 
  #5  
Old 12-01-2006, 05:04 PM
bwilson4web's Avatar
Engineering first
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
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Talking Re: Greetings from Australia

Originally Posted by Aussie View Post
. . .
I see that Bob has taken his "photo" of his posting...maybe he didn't want to scare you!! . . .
Looks like it 'disappearo' during the upgrade. No problem, I like this one better.

Bob Wilson
 
  #6  
Old 12-01-2006, 07:19 PM
Energy Independence
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,282
Default Re: Greetings from Australia

I like it too, Bob
What an engineering feat! I hope your MPG's are going through the roof (and not that big magnet).
 
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