Automotive

Why aren't 2016-2017 still don't have solar roofs??

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Dec 10, 2004
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Why aren't 2016-2017 still don't have solar roofs??

I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
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Sep 15, 2011
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HUNTSVILLE
dazz wrote: I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
What are you betting - I'll take that bet. There's no way (in 5 or 6 years at least) they'll power a car from something on the car using solar. NO WAY
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
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Toronto
Solar panels on cars barely do anything at all. An average car weighs around 3.5 tons. You think a roof full of solar panels can run the car? No way. Not even in 20 years. An AC compressor can't run off of solar panels on the roof of a car. The only thing I see the solar panel doing is charging your iPhone.
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Nov 6, 2006
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Coquitlam
dazz wrote: I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
You're wrong. The reason automakers don't bother with solar is because it's not worth it. Maybe if your car is sitting in sunshine all day you can charge batteries enough to run AC for a bit, but then you have to haul all the weight of those batteries around when driving which makes the car heavier and less efficient. A single solar panel will not generate near enough power to run an air conditioner by itself...

If it was worth it, you would see Tesla and other electric ONLY vehicles have solar panels, since they already have the batteries. It isn't worth it.
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Apr 20, 2011
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ON
The area of a car roof will get you maybe 150W, lets say 300W if we include the hood (probably a generous number) - But that's with perfect angle of sun. Most of the time you will be lucky to get 1/2-3/4 that unless your car is parked on a 45 degree angle or something.

And now let's look at AC - most cars today do not have electrically driven AC. The engine has to turn it. But let's say your car has variable electrically-driven AC (like mine).
On the lowest setting, mine uses 500-1000W (not counting the blower). The 300W is probably enough to run the blower, that's it. And only on the best angle and sunniest of days.

And they will add cost and weight for such little benefit.
This is why they're not on every car roof today.
They have been offered here and there as gimmicky and ridiculously priced options (i.e. Prius a couple years ago) - and all it did was run a low power fan to vent the cabin.
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May 22, 2005
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I've heard that the Leaf has a solar panel which uses that power to only regulate air condition.
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it will benefit consumers but how will that benefit the country?
Canada especially Alberta relies on oil price and demand of oil.
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dazz wrote: I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
You must give advice to the Ontario govenment.
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Feb 1, 2014
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sf1 wrote: it will benefit consumers but how will that benefit the country?
Canada especially Alberta relies on oil price and demand of oil.
It won't, the same logic applies to GM hiring 1000 engineers and lay off 2k plant workers.
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Mar 1, 2005
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dazz wrote: I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
Any gas savings will be lost with the added weight and the panels can be easily damaged by rocks.
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Jul 30, 2015
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dazz wrote: I am amazed how the roofs or even fronts are so un-utilized! I mean, the real estate space of a car can accommodate a solar panel that can run AC and other stuff, significantly reducing gas intake. The cost is cheap enough to incorporate it in every single car!!
I bet in 5-6 years they'll be optimized enough to power a car, but for now I am surprised they don't use it for at least AC. Easily pays for itself within 6-8 months!
Ever heard about conservation of energy?
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Aug 29, 2001
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I think the leaf has a solar roof, but only to cool off the car while its parked using exhaust fans not A/C.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
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fuel efficiency isn't really dropped that much on a car by running the AC.
Penalty Box
Oct 7, 2010
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Prius have them. Tree huggers need apply.
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Feb 15, 2005
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trixstar wrote: Solar panels on cars barely do anything at all. An average car weighs around 3.5 tons. You think a roof full of solar panels can run the car? No way. Not even in 20 years. An AC compressor can't run off of solar panels on the roof of a car. The only thing I see the solar panel doing is charging your iPhone.
What kind of car do you drive that weighs 3.5 tons? Not many 7000 lbs cars out there in production right now.
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spike1128 wrote: Prius have them. Tree huggers need apply.
The thing is, with the Prius, it can run the fans with the power drawn from the solar panels. It doesn't really cool your vehicle, it just circulates air drawn from the outside to the car's interior so it more matches ambient temperatures. It's basically a gimmick.
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Jan 4, 2007
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rilles wrote: I think the leaf has a solar roof, but only to cool off the car while its parked using exhaust fans not A/C.
The solar panel on the leaf helps top up the regular accessory battery.
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Feb 26, 2012
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ThePointblank wrote: The thing is, with the Prius, it can run the fans with the power drawn from the solar panels. It doesn't really cool your vehicle, it just circulates air drawn from the outside to the car's interior so it more matches ambient temperatures. It's basically a gimmick.
Air circulation makes a big difference to help cool down a car and far from a gimmick.
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Jan 16, 2015
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ThePointblank wrote: The thing is, with the Prius, it can run the fans with the power drawn from the solar panels. It doesn't really cool your vehicle, it just circulates air drawn from the outside to the car's interior so it more matches ambient temperatures. It's basically a gimmick.
I would pay a couple of hundred for that feature so I don't have to get into a baking hot car in the summer.

But yeah, solar panels are mostly gimmicks. They just don't provide good energy density and the cost and complexity of them will out weigh any fuel savings if there is actually any fuel savings from having to lug around heavy solar panels.
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trixstar wrote: Solar panels on cars barely do anything at all. An average car weighs around 3.5 tons. You think a roof full of solar panels can run the car? No way. Not even in 20 years. An AC compressor can't run off of solar panels on the roof of a car. The only thing I see the solar panel doing is charging your iPhone.
An average car does anywhere near 3.5 tons.
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