Solar powered vehicles

The term advanced vehicle means to us speedy vehicle which is well equipped with all modern day gadgets and gizmo's, which can give you more speed at less consumption of fuel. Everyone fancies about owning such vehicles but when they turn the ignition of vehicle it sends bad sign to atmosphere. We harm our atmosphere each time by ignition of our vehicle. Scientists have came up with ways to develop vehicles which cause less harm to the atmosphere.

Scientists are toying with the idea of Solar powered vehicles since long time. Solar Powered Cars or Solar Cars are first step towards developing nature friendly vehicles with the help of solar power. Solar Cars also gain energy from Sun. Hundreds of photo voltaic cells are used by these cars to convert sunlight into electricity. Each cell is capable of producing about one-half volt of Electricity.

Electrical systems in Solar Cars are designed so as to allow for variations in sunlight. The motor and battery of car is charged by energy from sun. This charged battery is used when Sun is hidden by a dense cloud. It takes lot of efforts and meticulous plan to design such Solar powered vehicles because if all energy is diverted towards driving then nothing will be kept in reserve and car will come to halt once when it is taken out on cloudy day. Engine of solar car slows down if too much energy is diverted to the battery. So Solar Powered Cars are designed so as to make it more efficient to run at top speeds.

Solar powered vehicles deliver high performance due to their extreme lightness of weight and excellent aerodynamics. But that is also one of the big drawback of these vehicles because any vehicle which is designed to ferry passenger in their routine life is heavier and less aerodynamic in nature so that they can achieve more speeds. So Scientists have thwarted the possibility of designing cars which are purely powered by solar energy.

The average speed achieved by Solar Powered Cars is 37 miles per hour. These Solar Cars are now in stages of experimentation. Students and scientists all over world are competing against each other to built perfect Solar Powered Cars. Testing and experimentation is being conducted on existing models to improve its performance and capability so as to be inducted as part of our routine traveling exercise.

In 2004 worlds fastest solar powered car Nuna 2 was tested in Scandinavia. The speed of Nuna 2 was 105 mph. This vehicle was built only to accommodate a single person. It was powered by solar panels like those on European Space Agency Spacecraft. Nuna 2 is three wheeled car. It has aerodynamic chassis that resembles to an airplane wing. There is no steering wheel to this car only there are two roads to stir the vehicles three wheels. Further in 2007 this Solar Powered Car had advanced version Nuna 4 where it matched the speed of ordinary car.

Difference between Nuna 4 and its previous versions:

  • Solar panels were small. So the Nuna 4 was slower than its predecessor.
  • Drivers can sit upright as in the previous Nuna cars the drivers used to lie down.
  • Steering wheel is an addition to Nuna 4 whereas in its previous versions the cars have to be steered by levers.
  • Driver is protected canopy, roll bars, helmet.

In year 2006 world first solar electric hybrid car was launched which was named as Astrolab. This car used very little energy 16kw engine. This car does not needs to be exposed to Sunlight continuously to get charged up. This hybrid car is exceptional than many of its counterparts because its photo voltaic cells yield 21% of the energy and they are covered by a film composed of nano-prisms, enabling denser concentration of solar energy. It uses no fossil fuels for its working. Astrolab is light and high profiled which offers rays of sun at 3.6 meter squares of todays most sophisticated photo voltaic cells.