When the materials of semiconductors are exposed to light, some of the photons in the light rays are absorbed by semiconductor crystals causing an increase in the free electrons in the crystal. This is the main reason why we prefer production of electricity through Photo Voltaic effect. Silicon is the most widely used semiconducting material. Photo Voltaic cells are used in the solar panels. The batteries of solar powered cars are made of Nickel-hydride, Nickel- Cadmium or Lithium- Polymer.
These solar cars have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Let us now go through them.
- The replacement of solar batteries and panels is an expensive affair. They are not found in abundance as well.
- 15 to 30% of sunlight is converted into electricity by the Photo Voltaic cells, and this percentage is considered to be low by today’s standards.
- Solar cars require large surface area on the top for maximum absorption of solar energy. This restricts the space and resistance towards high gusty winds will be low.
- These vehicles are rated low on safety features like:
- Braking system
- Wiper blades
- Chassis strength
- Rear-view mirrors.
- There is no need to spend money on fuel
- Low maintenance cost
- Run smoothly than petroleum driven cars
- Sunlight is available abundantly, and it’s free of charge. They do not emit any Greenhouse gases. They do not cause noise pollution. Their emission level is zero.
We should pitch in to save our environment. We know that every single drop contributes to the ocean and before deciding whether to purchase a solar-powered vehicle or not, it is advisable to weigh all the pros and cons. Regarding long-term benefits, it is advantageous to buy a solar-powered car as we know that the rate of depletion of fossil fuels is becoming higher by the day. We can save a lot of money by avoiding fuel expenses.
Though the cost of their maintenance is low, the replacement cost of the panels and battery will be very high. On the road, we have to take care that the solar panels on the top surface are not damaged. Even a minor blow can cause the malfunctioning of the panels.
In areas where the weather conditions are always damp and moist, the functionality of these cars will be affected. In case we are planning a long trip, we need to check the weather forecast report to avoid any inconvenience. Whenever we have lovely sunshine, we should make sure that the battery is fully charged.
The size of the solar cars is small, and so, they are not resistant to high-speed winds. Their speed is also low and restricted. They have safety issues as well. They do not have a frame made of steel and cannot survive any kinds of crashes or collisions owing to weak frame strength.
The mounted solar panels on the top are the key to proper functioning of the cars and can be aligned in six ways- horizontal, vertical, integrated, trailer, remote and adjustable.