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What Is A Solar Car And How does It work?...

14 July 2014, 08:05 AM

We all are aware of the solar-powered vehicles, which utilise the sun's energy to run the automobile. A solar car is just like any other 4-wheeler except the powertrain of the former uses sunlight to power the electric motor, unlike in the case of latter, which solely depends on liquid fuel. As such vehicles make use of sun's energy, they are much more clean and mild in terms of emission and are not hazardous to the environment. Such eco-friendly cars are being designed and put into production by several auto giants of the world. Almost all the major auto brands have recognised the need to produce a green car, which not only provides zero emissions but also scores high on mileage scale. However, most of the general public is still unaware as to how a solar car works and what all are the procedures involved in it.

  1. These eco-friendly cars have solar panels mounted on their roof or exterior and these panels help in gathering the sunlight. The basic solar panel is made up of numerous Photovoltaic Cells (PVC), which efficiently transform the solar energy into electric energy.

  2. The elements used in the making of PVC are most commonly Silicon, alloys of Nitrogen, Gallium and Indium. All of these elements have the capacity to retain light and then release it in the form of rapidly moving electrons, which help in generating flow of electricity.

  1. This electricity is then stored in the batteries of a green car that are made up of special materials, such as lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride. All of these elements help the battery in storing more amount of charge then the other conventional battery types.

  1. When these eco-friendly cars are accelerated, the battery sends energy to drive the electric motor and in turn help the vehicle move. A solar car has the capacity to generally operate in voltage range of 80 – 170 V and can have a driving range of about 50-100 km.

  1. When a green car is parked under sunlight, the PVC attract the sun's energy and convert them to electric energy, which is then stored in the battery for further use.

However, most of such cars are not suitable for driving long distances, therefore, these are also being fitted with a standard engine under the hood. This engine comes to play when all the energy is drained from the battery and the driver has a considerable range to cover. While these cars run on the normal engine type, the solar cells help in retaining sunlight and use it to power the electric devices inside, such as radio, power windows and instrument cluster. Such types of clean and green vehicle are much needed in the modern world so as to conserve the pending non-renewable energy resources for future generation.

The only concern with the making of these solar vehicles is that they require great amounts of initial lump-sum and are not that impressive in terms of practicality. However, researchers believe that in the coming time, new and better ways to utilise sun's energy will be available for the common man. In such a time, the fuel efficient cars in India and abroad are going to be most certainly the ideal choice for prospective buyers. Just like the present generation, people will be spotted purchasing new and used green cars in the upcoming time.

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