Can solar panels on a moving object have high efficiency?

in STEMGeekslast year

Solar power or any free energy is always an inspiring topic to research. I would say the technology is still pretty new and there is room for so many innovations around this concept. Many big companies have started looking at solar as their alternative source of energy. I remember that 10 years back the cost of solar panels used to be two or three times than today's panel costs. This already proves that we are innovating. Solar panels produce electricity based on the availability of light and not based on how hot the sun is. That is why it works in countries where there is just enough light and a cloudy environment.

The question for this article would be to find out if the efficiency of Solar panels would be high if it is placed on a moving object. Let's say we come up with a good hybrid car or bus that runs on both solar energies directly and also battery power. The question is, would be good to keep the panels on top of them and get high efficiency even when the vehicle is moving.



It appears to have been giving us good efficiency. Experts say that panels need only the bright light from the sun and they don't really care if the object is moving or not. Relative to the vehicle the panels are not moving probably and that doesn't affect the ion movement and energy production. The International Space Station can be taken as a good example of this because it is moving at a very high speed of 7.6 KM/second. It is still able to produce enough energy most of the time except when it goes under Earth's shadow. If it is able to produce the energy that is needed, then why not move cars and busses or even trains.

I personally see there are two major advantages in this moving solar panels too. These are more like my predictions. I'm just letting my thoughts flow but the actual results might be some time else. We will know it only if we try it out.

Protection from Dust

When the panels are kept idle there is a high possibility for the dust to get deposited on the panels and that can reduce the efficiency of the panel. If the vehicle is moving, the winds will take care of removing the dust then and there unless the vehicle is moving in a very bad road where too much dust deposition happens which cannot be prevented.

I would even say that it is not going to be 100% dust-free but I'm sure that the dust parameter reducing the efficiency of output production can be reduced to a greater extent. If on a regular rooftop panel or a solar farm we have to clean the panel surface once a week, then here probably it should be sufficient to clean the panel surface once in two or three weeks.



Winds will keep the panels cool

When the panels are producing energy the ions move and that produces lots of heat too. If the panels are on top of a vehicle and if the vehicle is going to move constantly, then there is a high possibility that the cool breeze from the wind can help the panels cool down. If the vehicle is in a country where the climate is very hot, even the winds will be hot and maybe there may not be much cooling. But otherwise, for a normal cool country or cool weather, the winds can act as a natural coolant.

Posted with STEMGeeks


They are slapping solar panels on the Aptera. The Aptera is a three wheeled EV was designed for aerodynamics. They are claiming that the car will be able to get up to 40 miles a day worth of charge on the solar panels.

BTW, I signed up for the presale, but I don't think I will have enough HIVE in my account to actually complete the purchase when the first production models hit the street later this year.


This is so exciting. Probably if the body of the car is a bit lengthier, there will be more room for extra panels and that can be a good design too. But let it hit the roads and let's see how it goes.

I agree on both the points you have described above, being helpful in increasing the efficiency of the panels. How ever there is a big obstacle that might be faced with moving objects in getting high output. We have seen in stationary panels, they are aligned w.r.t. direction of Sun rays so as to get maximum output. If the panels keep on moving and also Sun rays due to revolution of Sun, their mutual alignment will keep on changing. This might affect the efficiency of the solar panel. I may be wrong, but these are my thoughts. Thanks

Yeah, I understand the importance of the direction of the sun's light. But these days there are new innovative panels that come with good efficiency even in shadow. So bright light is what matters now. Maybe these panels are not available everywhere but soon it is going to be the future.

Apart from dust, I think direction of the sun also matter.

In the recent innovative panels, the direction of the Sun is not a matter anymore. Especially in countries where there is enough bright light, it isn't a problem.

That's good idea,but I think there should also be alternative incase the panel get down when you're not expecting. there should be another alternative to keep the car moving

Here in South Africa, there are already vehicles that run on batteries with the solar panels on the roof (not expressly solar vehicles, but solar-backed). They're three-wheeled open vehicles, more like a motorcycle crossed with a wagon. They're quite popular in my town and seem to be working very well. I'm in the process of saving up to buy one for myself. They do not go very fast, which is fine, at a top speed of 60km/h. They aren't good for long trips but for travelling through towns, to quickly go to the store or work, they're quite handy to have. One of my neighbours has one he uses all the time. I believe they're a Chinese-made brand, but I'm not sure.

Putting a solor panel on a moving vehicle is a great idea. Yes. We need to test it out.

Yeah only by testing we will know how it works out. There will then be more innovations happening.

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