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Solar paint to recharge batteries

Solar paint to recharge batteries

I wonder whether Tesla are looking to technology like this to either extend the driving range of a Tesla or to enable a smaller battery capacity to be used to maybe reduce the cost of their cars?

http://www.newcastleinnovationscience.com.au/solarpaint-unique-investmen...

Timo | August 21, 2013

You might get about 0.7 miles extra in a hour in good Sunny day at midday. If you paint the entire car with that stuff.

IE. not worth the added complexity. I would prefer being able to select the color of my car than get 1% extra range.

skurlow | August 21, 2013

How do you arrive at that calculation? Based on what facts?

Brian H | August 21, 2013

Amount of energy from sunlight x efficiency / wh/mile. 200wh net in an hour is a generous estimate.

nwdiver93 | August 21, 2013

Need to upgrade the sun... or move the earth closer... probably cause more problems than it's worth..

Timo | August 21, 2013

Solar paint "efficiency" is not in the conversion efficiency, it is in cost of the stuff. It's cheap, but it also requires a lot larger area to get good amount of energy than conventional solar panels.

You could probably paint your houses entire roof with that stuff in less money than you can get few square meter conventional panels, that's how you get that low cost number in their presentation.

It's good stuff, just not for cars.

olanmills | August 22, 2013

There is only so much energy from the sun hitting a square inch of a surface. A car has only so many square inches of surface.

Even if you had 100% efficient solar panels/paint/whatever, there isn't enough energy from the sun on such a small surface area to power a car like the Model S. Throw in the many factors that will give you less than ideal conditions: position of the sun in the sky, position of the vehicle on the Earth, orientation of the vehicle (which would effect how much surface area is exposed to sunlight), weather, etc, and you will find that solar panels won't help very much. The only way I could see it being useful is if it was dirt cheap, otherwise, there's no point.

Many people don't realize that the amount of energy used to drive a car around for a day's commute (gas or electric) is way more energy than people typically use in their homes on a single day. Very hot places with big air conditioners might be an exception there.

skurlow | August 22, 2013

If solar paint allows:

1) Fewer battery cells thereby reducing weight
2) Less battery cell weight can mean smaller and lighter brakes and other components

Perhaps it helps to charge a car whilst stationary.

There could be many benefits. I'm not an expert to know how to determine what they are. But I think it will become important one day but maybe not in the short term. Harnassing energy from many sources could become advantageous.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

The cost/benefit ration sucks.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

typo: ratio

Tiebreaker | August 23, 2013

@skurlow:
"I'm not an expert to know how..." <- stay there, dude.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

Solar paint on your car to charge your iPhone. Slowly.