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Wireless Charging

I can't help but think that WiTricity and Tesla would go together pretty well. This would eliminate the need to have a plugin (mostly). I am little surprised there is not more discussion regarding this application since WiTricity is actively seeking out OEMs. Since some power might be lost 5-10%, this would make charging more expensive, but I think it would be pretty useful.

It would not be used on a personal or one-vehicle basis, just as a new way of generating "grid power", with many advantages. The generating sites could be dispersed, or "ganged" together in large groups up to several hundred together.

Good prospects for our planet. Possible in 2020?

@Benz; Can you explain why you think that the sun is a weak source of power?

Sun radiation is at best 1kW/m^2 midday from clear sky pointing directly at the Sun. This is not the case with a car, and also paint would not be able to collect nearly all the radiation (unless you want your car to be really really really black with no reflection whatsoever) and then there are conversion losses which are rather big. In reality from entire car surface you could get something like 4kWh / day. In a good day.

@Timo
I take your point, and you are right about that. That paint is a bad idea at the moment. But, I think that we both are not talking about exact the same thing.

There are two things that should be seen separately, I think.
1) The fact that there is a sun which is a the source for solar energy.
2) And then there is the second thing, which is the technology to "catch/absorb/collect" this energy of the sun. What you mean is correct, because with the technology that we have spoken of (paint) we can only "catch/absorb/collect" a tiny bit of energy, which is too little to even talk about. You are right.

My point is that I am speaking generally about the sun, and not referring to the paint. The mighty sun itself is always "throwing" energy towards us. We are just not able to catch all that energy of the sun. The sun is not to be blamed if our technology is too poor. So, the problem lies not with the sun but with us. That's what I meant, you see.

By the way, I have heard Elon Musk discussing this point. He was at the Oxfort Martin School. And he was invited there to talk about the future of Energy and Transport. After his speach, there was time for Q&A. A lady asked a question, and then he spoke about the comparison between Nuclear Power Plants and Solar Energy. He is a great fan of the sun, I can tell you that (and so am I). Maybe you can google it. It really is interesting to hear him talk about several things.

The sun is not to be blamed if our technology is too poor.

That's just it, it isn't technology issue, Sun radiation just is weak. In order to collect it in sufficient amounts you need to use very large areas.

Good thing it has is that it is available pretty much everywhere, so with cheap paint-like solar cells we can utilize it from large areas using it in areas that are already in use. Bad thing is that areas with proper seasons you probably need it most when it is not available so transporting that energy becomes a problem.

Also long periods of bad weather is a concern, you need backup power source that is equally powerful as solar, and for that we would need excess production with storage, not another power plant somewhere (if we had power plant, then what's the point of having solar at all).

Price is more a concern here than efficiency, if you can paint entire house roof with that paint with 1/10 of a cost of separate panels, then even with only 1/3 of efficiency you probably end up getting more power out of cheaper solution.

Having some sort of solar energy collection on the car may help with vampire loads and keep the batteries topped up, but it would seem a stretch to get it to propel the car in a practical manner.
The best available PV's are about 20% efficient.( Just a few days ago thin film broke the 20% mark). The last time I checked the paint is about an order of magnitude less efficient). Sun energy is up to about 1kw per hour when the sun overhead. If the car were in the sun all day (12 hours-fat chance in Seattle) and the collection area were 4m^2 (which is alot for a car- bye-bye panoroof). You could in theory put 4x 0.2x12=9.6kw into the car per day. However, I don't see any more than half that in practice because of the other factors already mentioned in earlier posts. This could well be much less.
So the best is about 4.5kw per day. That would get you about 14 miles. With the paint more like 0.45kw/day or about 1.4 miles.
EIther way it is not that much, but it may be useful for battery charge maintenance/protection against bricking etc. due to vampire loads. I am thinking of times when one cannot plug in and have to leave the car for weeks at a time.
You can quibble about the exact numbers used here, but you get the point.
Not sure how cheaply this could be implemented in the real world. All those curved surfaces could make even a thin film difficult to install.
Solar energy is not my profession so those out there who are pros in this field, does that sound about right?

@ Timo
I agree that the larger the area (space) is, the more energy we could collect from the sun. And a car just does not have got that much area (space) on it. So, my friend Timo, let's stop talking about this stupid paint as it seems to be worthless anyway.

Elon Musk has come up with the best possible idea one can think of. Which is the idea of a network of Superchargers that are powered by sunlight using solar panels. This idea just really is fabulous and fantastic. Driving long distances in beautiful cars that have great performance capacities. And NO AIR POLLUTION at all!!!

I just love the sun!!! Because the sun is actually the SOURCE of this great idea, which has been turned into reality by Elon Musk. So, the sun actually really is a great source of power after all. Don't you just love the sun also?


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