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Solar Electric Cell

Lawrence Said:

Why can't they make electric powered vehicles with a solar cell body that charges itself?

We Answered:

There's a book called "Solo: Life with an electric car" by Noel Perrin. In the 1980s he buys a Datsun with solar panels on the roof. It only covers about 10% of the car's needs though. He went 100% solar by putting more panels on the roof of his house. He sold power to the grid then bought it back to charge his car!

Technology moves on, and they now have solar racers that can cruise at 60 mph on solar power alone. However these vehicles are extremely unusual, and not suitable for the road, made out of cloth and fibreglass and bicycle wheels.

If you're worried about "What happens when you exceed the battery's range", they've got that figured out. Put a small engine onboard which tops off the battery as you drive.

Douglas Said:

Is there any harmfulness in producing solar cell?

We Answered:

The environmental impact is the sum of the non geo,solar and or wing power sources needed to power the electric ovens to make the solar cells. Most of the processes for panels will not have much on the way of byproducts.
One of the new types uses Cadnium and Iridium as an alteritive to Silicon based products though which does pose a threat at the end of the panels life for landfills. Most panels are rated 10 to 30 years.
And there is water way tests for safe lvls of Silicon in water but I have not heard of any for Si02 as air based hazards. I mean particles from a vapor state reaction used to make the semiconductors

Marshall Said:

Would this solar cell cover my entire electric bill?

We Answered:

You would need to size your system to ideally handle all domestic loads during daylight hours plus enough to charge the battery bank, which would supply power when the sun was not out. You would also want to design in some extra capacity in the battery bank to compensate for extended periods when you may not have enough power from the panels to do everything I mentioned above in the first point.

Unless you changed your usage pattern radically, one 216 Watt panel would not be enough. It might be just barely be enough if you heated, cooked and hung out clothes to dry or used a gas dryer and used the water well sparingly. This means too any lighting- direct 12 volt- no inverters in use for that, converting the home stereo over to just operating from 12 volts, etc. These are things that can be done, but not everyone wants to put forth the effort.

It also means converting the computer over to 12 volts too.

But to have enough reserve capacity you might be okay with 2 of those panels.

If you have the will to do it, you can change your lifestyle enough to live with the one panel, but 2 makes it a lot easier If you were in a location where you put up a windmill to supplement as well- providing adequate wind conditions, it would become a lot easier, and spare energy could be used for heating water, or heating the house.

You can find a good number of tips and projects here:

If you do a web search on "2N3055" you should at least one useful website as well.

Maxine Said:

where can an average homeowner get a solar power cell to help lower summer Electric bills?

We Answered:

Corporate America can be something huh?

All kidding aside there is a place in Miami Florida called Sun Electronics that has everything to do with Solar Energy. My uncle used them for the retro fit of his house in the Florida Keys and he couldn't be happier paying the pennies that he now does on his electric bill. The upfront money was pretty hefty but there are tax credits from Uncle Sam, the state of Florida and subsidies from his electrical company he took advantage of. Good Luck!

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