Can Solar Cell Technology Be Used to Power Automobiles?

Since automobiles can be a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions, it makes sense to dream about a day when cars in South Central Texas will be powered by something other than gasoline. Given the abundance of sunshine in the big Texas sky, solar power is one of the more intriguing options. The big question, though, is whether solar cell technology can be adapted for use in cars that people will actually want to drive.

Plenty of Prototypes

The idea of mass-production of solar-powered cars isn’t just intriguing to science fiction aficionados. Scientists and engineers also want to see this dream become a reality, which is why countless prototypes for solar-powered vehicles already exist. In fact, the concept is so popular that there are races featuring solar-powered vehicles to allow various universities to show off their engineering prowess.

Challenges

Although many prototypes exist, it is difficult to turn these concepts into anything more than a cool science project. One of the biggest limitations is the design of the vehicle. Most current solar-powered vehicles are designed to maximize the number of solar cells that can be installed on the vehicle’s exterior.

While covering a large space with solar cells isn’t a problem on the homes that GVEC installs solar panels systems for, it can be a problem on a vehicle since passengers inside need a way to see outside. That’s why most solar-powered vehicles are currently limited to one occupant. However, if solar cells can be improved to produce more power per cell, this innovation could pave the way for mass-produced vehicles in the future.

Driving at Night

Another potential challenge for building a solar-powered vehicle is that it needs to be able to operate at night. This means installing batteries in the vehicle that can store the solar energy produced during the day. Although good batteries are currently available, this requirement adds weight and complexity to a potential vehicle, requiring further engineering adjustments to ensure that everything works together properly.

On the Cutting Edge of Solar Technology

At GVEC, we understand the innovation potential of solar technology. That’s why we’re committed to making sure our customers are aware of all the benefits of installing solar panels and battery storage on their homes. As an A+ Better Business Bureau-rated company, you can count on us to provide you with the right equipment to power your home with renewable solar energy. We also offer electrician, internet, and AC/heating services. For more information about solar options from GVEC, contact us today.