Physics Cheat Sheet (Gravitational Acceleration)

Physics Cheat Sheet (Gravitational Acceleration) -...

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UNDERSTANDING SOLAR CARS by Robert Lightner for Physics -- Dr. Morse on April 29, 1996 object Term Paper
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Introduction Everybody has heard of solar cars, but not too many people know what goes into them to make them work. When designing a solar car, there are some items that you must take into account. The items that you must take into account are the solar array design, battery selection, motor selection, gear ratio, number of wheels, and frame type. Once you understand what goes into making a solar car, you will have a better understanding of how it works and why some go faster than others. Solar Array-Decisions on Solar Array Design Every solar car has by definition a solar array of some type. Normally a solar array is composed of solar cells which convert sunlight into power. The choice of solar cell layout has a direct impact on how the vehicle will perform, in addition to the choice of body style. These two decisions are interlinked, and while the body shape will definitely impact the vehicle’s performance while on the road, the following decisions will impact the vehicle’s ability to recharge during the charging periods in a day which help these vehicles maintain their speeds while on the road while climbing hills. Remember a solar array is the most efficient when light comes down perpendicular on a solar array, and when solar cells are in direct light exposure. The more diffuse the light, the less efficient the solar array. There are generally three different types of solar array layouts: Top and bottom solar array A vehicle with a top and bottom solar array will produce marginally more power than a single solar array while on the road, it will also only produce some marginally more power while charging due to the fact that one of the solar arrays is exposure to indirect or diffuse light when in charging. This array design is the more costly of the three due to the fact that a vehicle has nearly double the amount of solar cells than any other vehicle. Top array with extension panels This array configuration will produce nearly the same amount of power as a top solar array while the vehicle is on the road, however, it’s main advantage will be that it produces more power during the charging period than any of the three solar array designs.
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