Topic:SOLARAND ELECTRIC ENGINE CONVERSION IN CARS
Itis notable that technology is becoming the foundation of advancementin all aspects of life. In all the disciplines of Engineeringtechnology is taking shape at an increasing rate with the aim ofcutting cost as well as enhancing realization of efficiency. One ofthe key technological advancement in regard to car technology is theinvention and coming up with solar and electric cars. Car consumersfor many years have desired to drive behind solar and electricpowered cars as opposed to fuel powered cars which is relativelyexpensive (V.T., 2014). The curiosity, eagerness and experience ofachieving this has been made possible by the technologicaladvancement that motor manufacturing companies have rolled out comingup with both electric and solar powered cars.
Car manufacturing companies have gone to an extent of rolling outpractical and affordable cars thus generally advancing carmanufacturing industry to higher levels. Currently, mainly incountries with advanced technologies there is increased rise inpopularity of solar and electric engine conversion in cars (Casper,2007). The common motors used in solar and electric engine conversionprocesses in cars include permanent magnet motor, 3-phase AC motorand series wound DC motor.
Reasonfor topic selection
Solarand electric engine conversion in cars basically involves the usesolar energy as an alternative energy converted into electricity,notably in most cases these cars are used in solar car races. Solarcars are characterized with fitted gauges like those in conventionalcars. It is notable that for many years most cars globally aregasoline-powered, therefore solar and electric engine conversion incars is a new concept which has revolutionized manufacturing of cars.Cars consumers have at least satisfied their desire of driving solarand electric conversion cars. It is notable that cars with solar andelectric engine conversion have efficiency in energy conversion inall the aspect of energy production and use. In addition installationof solar and electric engine conversion in cars facilitates reductionof energy costs, maintenance and reduces environmental pollution to agreater extent (Scheer, 2013).
The subject of solar and electric engine conversion in cars is a newconcept where its innovation and development can be argued to be inthe short-run thus needs further research for improvement. The neededfurther innovation and development shall involve adoption andintegration of new technologies for the development of a complete,fully installed and improved solar and electric engine conversion incars (Benjamin K. Sovacool, 2009). This topic thus becomes and areaof concern because its studies will point out the key major milestonedevelopments as well as key areas that needs to be improved.
Importanceof the study
Thestudy warranties attention and concern to be examined, it is theobjective of engineers in car manufacturing industry to develop carsfocusing on greater and improved efficiencies in all of the caraspects. It is notable that gasoline-powered cars used by many arehighly associated with inefficiencies. These inefficiencies aremainly attributed to the engine combustion being inefficient in theaspects of maintenance cost, gas costs and pollution (Mark Z.Jacobson, 2011). The installation and integration of solar andelectric conversion in cars has significantly reduced the aboveoutlined inefficiencies. Although this conversion technology is stillunpopular globally, major improvements regarding this technologicalinnovation are still needed to develop better and high quality solarand electric engine conversions in cars. Generally, focus is todevelop an effective and efficient engine energy use as well asproduction. This study provides an insight of the already in placetechnological developments and the prospective future innovationsunderlying solar and electric conversion in cars.
Solarand electric conversions in cars
Solarand electric conversion in cars entails combination of technologiesin designing solar powered cars mainly in automotive industries.Underlying these conversions is that, the designed cars are notablylimited because of the limited input energy input into these cars(Casper, 2007). With the continuous improvements the solar-poweredcars have been designed to be used in public roads. Photovoltaiccells is used in the conversion of sunlight into electricity, thesolar array is designed such that it converts sunlight directly toelectricity attributed to its thousands of photovoltaic solar cells.Basically Solar and electric conversion in cars begins with theconversion of sunlight rays to electricity and the next step iselectric vehicle conversion (V.T., 2014).
Electric vehicle conversion encompasses conventional internalcombustion engine in a driven car modified to propulsion of electricbattery. The final output of electric engine car conversion is abattery electric-powered car. Generally solar and electric conversionin cars is totally removing whole internal combustion engine of a carand installing an electric motor. It is important to note thatadditional batteries should be added for the installation process tobe complete. The technological innovation and development regardingsolar and electric conversion in cars is the individual needs to cutcost of gasoline and the increasing awareness of creating a good,less polluted environment.
Accordingto Benjamin K. Sovacool (2009) solar and electric conversion in carshas contributed significantly in fighting global warming. In additionit is asserted that electric cars powered by solar energy offsetgreenhouse gases significantly. Therefore it can be argued that theinitiative of installing solar and electric conversions in cars isself-sustainable and the aspect of creating promoting goodenvironment is just an additional benefit.
Installationprocess of solar and electric conversion in cars
Thefollowing steps complete successfully the installation process.
Step1: Car selection for installation
Itis important to select a car which is not complicated preferably atraditional car. It should be easy to get replacement parts, the carshould be light since it is ideal to be run by an electric battery.The selected car has to have streamlined shape to enhance minimaldrag and not hinder the car top speed. According to Brain (2002) carswith manual transmission are preferable since it uses controller andthe fact that electric cars do not need any transmission.
Manual transmission ensures safe run in the road and can be easilycontrolled. The car should have enough space for batteries since highvoltage is required as well as easy access incase of maintenance. Thecar should be easily adjusted such as distributing the car weight andthis additionally enhances car handling.
Step2: Selection of motors
Dependingon the skill level regarding assembling a suitable motor is required.It is preferred to have a standard DC motor covered with diminutivebody. It is important to rebuild the motor with its connectors, cleanand degrease. Electric forklift DC motors are suitable for theconversion process.
Step3: Finding batteries for the car
Abackup battery is needed before assembling the car preferably agel-cell battery. This is a valve-regulated lead-acid battery, thisbattery do not need water for the cells. This battery is suitablesince it is able to pull a large car (Meza, 2014). Depending on thepurpose of the installation, lithium ion batteries may be suitablewhen the size and workload of the car.
Step4: Removal of old battery parts and old motor
Usethe cheater bar and engine crane for this purpose. It is important towork slowly facilitating the use of liquid wrench thus loosening andtightening at the same time to make threads free. Slowly takeout theengine and all other gas related parts such as radiator exhaust andtank. The car selected should not have power steering so that it canfit with the new engine which has one output shaft that will be fixedto transmission. The following needs to be left transmission, enginesub-harness, fuses pane, horn and brakes (Brain, 2002). It isimportant not to run any accessories like power steering. Top offpower steering fluid in the lines before closing them by looping.
Step5: Installation of new motor and battery
Custommotor mount is required for electric motor alternativelytransmission mounts can also be used. Combining electric motor to thetransmission while propped on the jack, a measurement between the oldengine motor mount and the installed electric engine is taken. Toensure that shakes are reduced during acceleration use the originalmotor mount and after the measurement the motor and the old engineneeds to be fabricated (Meza, 2014). Use an adaptor plate to connectthe electric engine with the transmission. Electric motor is placedin front of the car and the controller is mounted. Install thebattery and then connect with then batteries.
Step6: Installation of solar panels
Placethe solar panels on top of the car ensure that the solar panels canproduce enough energy to run all the operations of the car. Anaxillary battery might be needed also.
Step7: connection of ignition to the contactor
Whenthe key is turned the conductor will activate the motor. Next is toconnect all the wires appropriately to the whole car electricalsystem as well as the fuse box. Take a pedometer and connect it withthe gas pedal and throttle cable. This provides signal duringacceleration or deceleration.
Limitationsof solar and electric conversions in cars
Despiteof solar and electric conversion cars being efficient there areseveral challenges associated with and includes the following.
Thecost of photovoltaic cells and other equipment for conversion canprove to be more expensive (Shoebridge, 2010). The surface of the carhas to be covered with these expensive cells the conversion processis more expensive in comparison with normal internal combustion cars.
Inefficientpower consumption and storage
Theconversion process depends highly on sunlight for conversion toenergy. It can be difficult to operate in low lights and thebatteries may not be able to store enough energy to power the carunder such conditions (Tony Howarth, 2014).
Thesolar powered vehicles accelerate considerably at lower speed andeasily reach lower maximum speeds. Therefore they are not suitablefor long drives. In comparison to internal engine combustion and gasguzzlers they are unsuitable.
Itis notable that the underlying cars in most cases have almost itsouter surface covered with solar cells. Therefore any impact on thecar can result into damage of the solar cells which are expensive toreplace (Tony Howarth, 2014). The batteries are also expensive tomaintain since they are rechargeable and they lose the capacity tostore energy in most cases. The overall maintenance cost of carsinstalled with solar and electric engine conversions is considerablyhigh. Solar and electric technology is still in the early stagesconsidering the effectiveness and efficiency of the notabledevelopment innovations.
Inregard to the prospective future of this technology, it is importantto be patient since the underlying companies are still conductingresearch and development to come up with more efficient outputs fromthis technology. Technological decisions are yet to be made in regardefficiency of the electric system and the use of batteries concerningthe cost-benefits associated with the technology (Benjamin K.Sovacool, 2009). The limited range and speed associated with solarand electric technology notable in the designed cars remains to be amajor issues, if in the future conversion companies will be able tohandle this then it will be better. In general the future ispromising regarding effective and efficient adoption of solar andelectric technology considering the fact that conversion companieshave invested heavily to improve their innovations (Scheer, 2013).
Therole of technology in current society
Technologyplays key significant roles in the society it is notable that nearlyall developments are attributed to technology. Technology enables thesociety to look ahead into the future. Technology provides solutionsto various serious problems that the society experience. Notably isthe energy technology that tries to provide solution to the globalwarming, information and communication technologies, healthcaretechnologies and material science. All of these technologies arebeing used to address the various challenges that the modern societyfaces.
Technologyin the society has promoted the development of technologicalinnovations and strategies. Technology involves various agents andactors that engage in advance research which have taken years. Theseactions are crucial in regard to improvement and exploitation ofdevelopments of technology in the society. Technology is used in thesociety to make work easier thus enhancing better living standards.It is used as a means of communication thus enhancing accessibilityand connections thus promoting globalization.
Technologyis used in the society to sustain development in all the aspects ofthe economy. Currently there is no sector of the world economy thatit does not adopt technological innovation and development forimprovement and sustainability. Generally technology has integratedissues in the society thus making the world become a global villageattributed to global communications and satellites.
Inconclusion, solar and electric engine conversions in cars are stillunder research and technological development evolution. The designedcar despite being associated with a number of limitations andchallenges it depicts significant technological advancement anddevelopment. Technology aims to solve the existing challenges andthis provides a bright prospective future in the development of moreimprove solar and electrical conversion engines in cars. Technologyis undoubtedly a core major factor in the improvement and innovationin the current modern society.
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Scheer,H. (2013). TheSolar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future.London: Routledge.
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