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I'm having trouble finding an appropriate video clip, but "an electric car, partly powered by solar panels" shows up in the intro of Naked Gun 2.5, with a Fiero standing in IIRC.

Mostly I'm curious about Ford's lens system - you need a fair amount of depth to concentrate the light as much as they seem to be describing, and you'll therefore have a bunch of heat (about a third of the solar energy becomes heat in the panels) trapped under an air gap (created by the lens system - the alternative being filling the space under the lens solid, which adds lots of weight and increases the depth you'd need.) Maybe they have a system under the panels to conduct it away?
 

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What took Ford so long to think of this concept. All car companies at this point in development of electric and hybrids should
already have been using this in normal production. I just don't get it....
 

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Isn't it too early for April Fools Day? My solar system has 39 panels and on a very good day, it is producing a max of 6 kW. Lets be generous and say that the panel can actually produce 250 W. At that rate it would need 40 hours to make the 10kWh needed to recharge the battery in the Volt. You would need a panel with at least a 2 kW output (8-10 times what is currently available) to charge a Volt during the sunny part of the day.
 

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The most light energy that hits the earth is about 1000w per square meter. The highest efficiency of any solar cell is 45% (you can't buy these), and the amount of energy on an average day is 5 hrs worth in sunny climates.

So .450kw*5 = 2.25kwh per sq meter. That Ford array is under 2 sq meters. So each sunny day in the right areas on earth, the best you're going to get is 4.5kwh, or 20-25mi of range.

But...

The true efficiency of most commercial production chips is 15%, with some $$$ chips in the 22% area. So you're now looking at chips with 7-12 miles of range IF conditions are right and you have 2 m^2 of available area. From the pic of the Ford, I'm guessing it has 1 m^2 of area.

ie - most people would have to still plug in.
 

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I would LOVE this to get LOTS of publicity. If you look close, you'll conclude that it would be more cost effective to put solar panels on the car GARAGE instead of the car, but hey, if people start assessing that solar + car = zero emissions, then conversion to an electric fleet will occur more rapidly.
 

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Didn't James Bond have to deal with the super solar magnifier thingie in The Man with the Golden Gun.... Maybe that's where Ford got their idea from, an old James Bond film.
 

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The true efficiency of most commercial production chips is 15%, with some $$$ chips in the 22% area. So you're now looking at chips with 7-12 miles of range IF conditions are right and you have 2 m^2 of available area. From the pic of the Ford, I'm guessing it has 1 m^2 of area.

ie - most people would have to still plug in.
This has been the consensus of the forum each of the times it's come up - which is presumably why the previous solar roof designs have been using the panels for cabin cooling instead of EV range.

The other way to read what Ford said is that most of their PHEVs are being driven only on short trips in EV to begin with - so those ~10 miles of range are enough to cover the trips.

Do you have a link for 45% solar panels? I haven't read about those before.
 

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Now, if you just take 6 cheap 2 sq meter panels and ground mount them, you would have 6 x 305w x 5hrs or over 9kwh of range for about $2500 in supplies. I'm willing to bet that 1 sq meter Ford array is more than that, and does not yield 1/3 the range.
 

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It's just a CMax Energi with a solar panel on the roof.

Toyota figured it wasn't worth it so just had the Prius' solar panel runs a fan.
Nissan figured it wasn't worth it so just had solar spoiler on the Leaf trickle charge the 12V.

It's a concept, and I expect the end result will be the same kind of thing: inconsistent, low DC output from PV means you'll not want to have it charging the battery.
 

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THE FIRT LIAR OF THE YEAR, FORD MOTORS!!!

“Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing enough power from the sun through the concentrator each day to equal a four-hour battery charge (8 kWh),” Ford writes.

Reference here: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/02/ford-c-max-solar-energi-concept-car-coming-ces-2014/

They rated 300-350 Watts of solar power being collected during sunshine hours. And it is occupying about 1.5 sq meters, implying overall efficiency of 21% to 23%, so these are top-rated panels and may not be cheap.

In order to collect 8 kWH, they would need 22.9 hrs to 26.7 hrs of FULL Strength Sunlight per average day!!!!. Where in our planet is this happening??????

The solar panels need threshold radiation to produce power. Early morning hours and late afternoon sunshine hours are not included in the counting. At best, you would get on the average about 6 hours of useful sunshine radiation per day. Now substract the cloudy and rainy days for the entire year. The average drops down to about 5 hours, a number used by many solar PV companies in California to estimate electricity production.

I am for solar, but these are misleading OUTRIGHT LIES by Ford to the detriment of the concept.



Ford Motor Co. is testing a solar-powered electric car that’s easier to recharge than the typical plug-in, though the cost of solar panels would potentially add thousands of dollars to an already expensive vehicle...

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140102/AUTO0102/301020066/Ford-puts-solar-charged-electric-car-test?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

What will 'they' think of next <wink-wink>?
 

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...

Do you have a link for 45% solar panels? I haven't read about those before.
This is a good one, but no prices. http://solarlove.org/which-solar-panels-most-efficient/

There is a chip a little higher than the Sharp, but it's experimental still, and only like 0.2% more efficient.

22% Home panels (SolarPower X series) were released this year, but nobody is publishing pricing. ie - Must talk to salesman to get pricing.
 

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22% Home panels (SolarPower X series) were released this year, but nobody is publishing pricing. ie - Must talk to salesman to get pricing.
Yeah, I've seen 21% and heard 22 was coming. Solar PV is one of those odd places where pure efficiency frequently won't pay for itself. Unless you get to a point where you don't have enough roof space, you get more power by installing cheaper panels of middle efficiency - so far all that solar energy is free... :)
 

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Pretty much bull, no way a near standard set of panels will get that thing charged, remember in ideal conditions there is only 1000w per square meter hitting the earth, that is if pointed directly at the sun from dawn till dusk, and most cells are about 17% efficient.

I have a 12.5 Kw system and with full sun this time of year it produces about 50 kWh on a good day this time of year. That thing has 4 panels, no way to would give 21 miles worth of charge a day.

I call bull!
 

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I try not to leave my car in the sun to avoid paint fade and interior damage. Been doing this for years. Solar panels on a car is not for me. Just saying.
 

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Motley Fool covered it and said that it is a 300 Watt system. With it being flat, it won't get good sun until mid-summer. And not everyone wants to park in the sun - they may park in a garage during the day. It's much like the Fisker Karma roof. Good "cute" idea with very little utility and impossible to reclaim the costs in terms of electricity generated. It does read like an April fools' article.
 

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I just saw this video. It showed the car moving under the magnifier. Is it going to roll to optimize efficiency? Lawyers are going to love that.

Unless Ford has some magic up their sleeve that is cutting edge solar, I don't see this working well.
 

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That is...until the folks in charge realize that they should tax the sunlight that hits your panels...
That's why I threw that comment in. Solar occupancy use tax or something like that. But unless they make exceptions for them, a tax like that will be really hard on farmers...
 
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