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View Diary: Total Surface Area Required to Fuel the World With Solar (138 comments)

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  •  when we get electric cars... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, Unenergy

    ...I'm betting a good deal of the recharging could be done with solar panels.  My mom's a gardener, and to keep deer out of her vegetables she's got an electric fence up, and it's entirely powered by one small solar panel.  Now, granted, that's not a huge amount of electricity, but the panel's not much bigger than the cover of a paperback book.  So I'm thinking instead of plugging the car into the house current, which does still use some fuel down the line (albeit not that much), the "refueling" of electric cars could at least be supplemented by solar panels... for free!  Possibly even built into the car, so they're getting recharged wherever you park.

    I don't know much about electric cars, I admit... that may already be built in, but if it's not, it should be.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:02:43 PM PDT

    •  numbers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Front Toward Enemy

      right now cars driven with electric motors, be they hybrids or BEVs, get 3 to 5 miles per kilowatt-hour for more or less standard models, some lightweight electrics do better.

      Now, repeat the numbers in the diary, 1 kW per square meter (or square yard for this rough estimate) times 0.2 for 20% conversion efficiency, or 200 watts/sqm peak, times 0.20 capacity|availability factor, for an average of 40 watts/sqm, times 24 hours gives you a snudge less than a kWh per day per square meter of PV.

      So take how far you drive per day, 75% of drivers do less than 40 miles, divide that by 5 (optimist about mileage improvements) to get the number of needed kWh per day, and thus the area in square meters of PV.  Thirty miles a day would mean 6 square meters, assuming that 20% efficiency; the thin film CIGS stuff runs about half that in commercial versions.

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