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Solar panel to charge car

It would be nice Tesla can provide solar panels on the roof to increase the milage of the car. The solar panels can charge the car while being parked and increase the milage of the car.

Expensive and trivial.

Dang, I made a longish reply which got eaten by some sort of error on the site.

Here's the summarized version:

"Each day the Sun shines the equivalent of about 1,000 watts per square meter at noon on a cloudless day."

This is not very much power compared to what would be needed to charge the car, even just to cover a 20 mile trip, in a decent amount of time, especially after you factor in real-world factors such as solar panel and charger efficiency, time of day weather, etc.

Then there are other practical matters to consider, like how much money such a system would cost, what kind of limitations it would place on the cars styling and functionality (sunroof, etc). Also consider that parking outside for long periods of time on a regular basis is not something owners of expensive cars typically do.

If you use FF, Chrome, or Safari, you can use the addon Lazarus to save every post you type, in real time, with easy recall and re-insertion. Also searchable. Great tool.

Have we not heard of photovoltaic paint?

Yes Ron, we have had posts about photovoltaic paint too. The same problems apply with available surface area of the car, efficiency etc. Again, it wouldn't provide that much energy. If it was relatively low-cost, and didn't negatively affect other aspects of the car (like the way it looks, or the shapes you could build or how long it takes to produce etc), then maybe it would provide some benefit, but you have to consider the tradeoffs. And right now, it still seems like if you were looking to add extra money spent towards the car's energy systems, it would be much more practically spent on more battery cells.


Yeah, I HATE it when that happens, especially when you compose a text rich, data field post that mysteriously disappears when you try to post it...Frustrating to say the least.

Anyway, as I tried to clarify previously, I am not suggesting the use of canopy integrated photovoltaic cells for the purpose of CHARGING the vehicle (not yet anyway - technology will have to advance appreciably before solar capture capacitance on that level is realizable), instead, I'm only suggesting TRICKLE-charging the batteries to assist in replenishing their diminished charge capacity.

Granted, the demands placed on the batteries by the motor(s) varies depending on driving conditions, yet I feel that an appreciable amount of that dispensed charge can be recaptured through solar charging much like the plug-in adaptor for your laptop maintains its' batteries at optimum capacity though you are placing demands on the battery throughout your usage of the device.

It's just a thought really.

Charging a car with paint or other surface solar will NEVER happen. Even ideal 100% energy capture would still be trivial, due to the small surface area. Fuggedaboudit. (Please)

I can put solar panels on my house roof and generate power and shade at the same time or I can put a small one on my car and park it in the sun to cook everyday.

I think it would take more energy to cool the car after stating all day in the sun than the little panel would generate. This is one of those ideas that sounds good until you run the numbers.

For example:
even sun is powerfully shine for 6hr's, and we have to get 85kwt. Solar panels efficiency is about 15%, let's drop a losses during charging process, well we have to 85\6=14,2kwth\150wt(by 1m3)=95 square meters we need on the tesla's roof. Anyone? :)))
Bravo, author =)
P.S. I'm from north Russia. And So funny to read this. Cause unfortunately in Soviet Russia car heats you. ) That's why ICE performance is increasing up to 100% in cold winter )

It is also important to keep in mind that the angle of the panels will reduce efficiency by 10-40% depending upon where you live and the season and possibly even which direction the car is facing.

And as mentioned earlier, you are always loosing vehicle efficiency due to the added weight, while only gaining a trickle of power during peak sun hours while the car is under the sun. No cloudy days, no parking under a covered parking space, or tree, etc.

FAR more efficient to put the panels on your roof.


It's unending. This worthless suggestion comes up over and over. And Fisker actually did it! Talk about appealing to the dumbest common denominator.

@ Brian

Technological innovation occurs on an almost daily basis, so I feel that it is presumptuous of anyone to conclude that there won't be any sort of breakthrough in solar charging that would make it more so practical and effective than it is today.

No one has concluded that there won't be a breakthrough, or that one day, solar tech won't reach a point of feasibility for on-vehicle application. It was merely stated that given the current state of solar tech, the yield is negligible.
Food for thought: Fisker's panel would take something to the tune of 400+ years just to pay for itself.

Point is that yield is negligible because of Solar radiation is weak. This doesn't change no matter how good the tech gets unless you somehow make Sun brighter. I would not recommend that.

100% effective solar panels would still be worthless. Get it?

I'll just say this...There is far more to 'light' than what we see/the amount of lumens our photoreceptors are able to absorb (the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum extends from about 380 to about 780 nanometers) to facilitate the process of seeing.

That fact doesn't change the Sun irradiation. It's still weak.

I won't argue.

Granted, I've eaten too much to sleep, but I won't argue.

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