Solar Powered Automotive Technology

The idea that cars can run entirely on solar power is gaining traction these days. Rethinking gasoline-based transport as a major source of air pollution and depletion of natural resources will help tackle the climate crisis. An alternative solution to this problem could be the creation of vehicles that convert the energy of the sun into electricity.

The first solar-powered car was shown on August 31, 1955, at the General Motors Powerama in Chicago. It was a small car, 15 inches (38 cm) long, which became the main attraction of the event, which laid the foundation for the future of solar-powered automobile production.

Operating principle of a solar vehicle

Although the Sun’s energy is not yet available to provide sufficient power to operate a vehicle, many automakers are trying to find the use of solar batteries as an alternative source. 

The principle of a solar car is based on the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy, which is the power source for the solar-powered electric motor installed in the car. The principle of converting solar energy into electrical energy is based on “p-n conductivity” created in solar cells made of two layers of silicon with the addition of various substances.

An electric motor can be connected, ensuring normal operation in various operating modes as well as a number of batteries that are responsible for the supply of electrical power. Such a circuit can serve as a drive for mechanical transmission, including car movement.

Challenges of Solar-Powered Automotive

Many methods have been developed to convert solar energy in cars into electrical energy. In addition, the use of solar energy to power various objects is a popular research area around the world.

There are many ways and theories for converting solar energy, the most promising for the automotive industry are:

    • the use of photocells in transport and stationary;
    • the use of various heat engines for converting solar energy (Stirling engine, steam engines, various variations of external combustion engines, etc.);
    • the use of solar power plants (hot air, ground-based various variations, etc.);

Currently, the most popular use of photovoltaic cells for the accumulation and conversion of solar energy, due to their reliability, ease of maintenance, and manufacturability, including for cars and other vehicles. Typically, photovoltaic solar cells are installed on open surfaces that are good for sunlight, such as the inside of a car roof.

First solar-powered car

The Development of Solar-Powered Vehicles  

Giants of the automotive industry are engaged in the production of solar-powered prototypes. These are BMW, Toyota, Mercedes, French Venturi, and Swiss Green GT. 

Due to the low power and high cost of converting solar energy, photocells have not yet found widespread use, however, the prospects for their use in the automotive industry are quite large.

Developments are going in 2 directions:
    1. creation of a mixed design of a car with solar panels, which in cloudy weather can be recharged from the electric network and work like a regular car.
    2. creation of a car in which solar energy is used for auxiliary needs, for example, for the operation of a navigation system or condensation.

Thus, the idea of a “clean” solar-powered car technology is not ready yet. Meanwhile, experimental models of such vehicles have already been tested for sale to wealthy buyers.

Next to read: Tesla Developments for Sustainable Transportation

Lightyear One

Dutch company Lightyear announced the results of testing its latest prototype electric vehicle, Lightyear One, which is equipped with solar panels for additional power. In practical tests, the car covered a distance of 710 kilometers on a single charge of a 60 kWh battery. During testing in a full driving cycle, the car moved at a speed of 85 km / h. According to Lightyear, the One will be very energy efficient and will be able to generate about 12 kilometers per hour from its rooftop solar panels.

The company has announced that the exclusive 946 Lightyear One series will go into production in the first half of 2022. The company plans to enter the mass market in 2024. The cost of one will be about $ 165 thousand.

Lightyear was able to integrate photocells into the electric sunroof of the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen to dramatically increase its autonomous range. The integration into other vehicles is also possible.

Lightyear One
Lightyear One
Humble Motors

American company Humble Motors plans to launch a solar-powered crossover. According to Inside EVs, the vehicle was named Humble One and will be able to carry four people. The main competitors of the novelty will be electric vehicles Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian.

The price of the car in the basic version is $ 109,000. At the moment, the acceptance of preliminary applications for the car has already begun. Serial production of new items will begin in 2024. The first cars will be delivered to customers in 2025.

So far, the car exists only as a virtual concept. The crossover will receive a roof consisting of solar panels, however, the main source of power is a rechargeable battery.

Humble One
Humble One
Aptera’s Paradigm and Paradigm Plus

Aptera Motors has introduced a no-charge electric vehicle and has begun accepting pre-orders for it. The Paradigm and Paradigm Plus models use a solar panel with an area of ​​about 3 m2 and a power of 700 watts. It consists of several sections mounted on the bonnet, roof, and even on the dashboard. This solar battery charges the traction battery, which, in turn, powers the electric motor (there are two in the top version).

According to the developers, such a solar battery generates energy during the day, which is enough for 60 km of run. And if you “stretch” the solar battery on the trunk lid, then the daily mileage on free energy will increase by another 38.5 km. Of course, these are the limit values ​​in sunny weather, in reality, most likely, you can count on 50 km of run. 

Depending on the power plant, battery capacity, and additional options (individual color, improved audio system, etc.), the price varies from 25 to 46 thousand US dollars.

solar powered car
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Tesla Motors

Despite the success in the field of electric vehicles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2017 gave up the idea of placing solar panels on the roof of the Tesla Model 3 as inefficient. However, solar power technology has improved significantly and is making more sense.

Elon Musk recently said the Cybertruck could have solar panels as part of its features but a solar electric van would make “a little more sense”. “A van, because you’ve got a big flat area, that’s actually where solar could start to make a little more sense because you could have a lot of areas,” Musk said.

In contrast to Tesla, Toyota has installed solar panels on the roof of its new Prius Prime hybrid, which will increase the vehicle’s range from 20 to 30 km depending on the amount of sunlight and weather conditions.

Thus, transport in the future will definitely use alternative energy sources. At the current level of development of solar panel technology, they are often not able to fully provide movement. However, solar technology is developing rapidly, which is only a matter of time.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home from 5G?

Every day we are exposed to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR) at home and at work from the devices around us, including our phones, computers, microwaves, TVs, and others. 5G is classified as an electromagnetic field (EMF), so we must do everything possible to reduce our exposure to potentially harmful 5G radiation.

First of all, you need to know what 5G is and how to protect yourself and your home from 5G. 5G information available on the Internet is often misleading and not accurate. It is difficult to draw any reliable conclusion based on all these resources, such as the media and well-known magazines, as well as numerous scientific articles on the influence of EMR.

What Are 5G Health Risks?

5G health risk information is clearly very polarized, as are issues such as climate change and other politicized issues. Several online sources have published information on manipulations in the wireless technology industry of government policymakers and the news media to create doubts about scientific credibility.

A few journals have analyzed the difference in the results of independently funded and industry-funded research, which discredits true scientific research. Most independent studies show the biological effects of cell phone radiation, while industry-funded studies are two and a half times less likely to show any effect of cell radiation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMFs from mobile phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) in 2011. The US National Toxicology Program in 2018 found clear evidence of the association between cell phone radiation (2G and 3G frequencies) and the heart, brain adrenal gland tumors in rodents.

Mobile phones emit EMR that can be absorbed by tissues located next to the phone. The amount of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the tissue depends on many factors, such as the distance between the telephone and the user, the extent and duration of exposure, and the type of use of the mobile phone, as well as the distance from the cell towers.

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power your home

Radiofrequency Exposure Limits

The United States, Western Europe, and many other countries follow the restrictions of IEEE C95.1-19991 or the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for radiofrequency emission (RF) are based on protection against acute damage from thermal effects of RF exposure and may not protect against any non-thermal effects of chronic exposure.

The US FCC has announced that it will reaffirm the limits of exposure to RF radiation adopted by the commission in the late 1990s. These restrictions were adopted by the FCC based on studies from the 1980s that showed behavioral changes in rats exposed to microwave radiation. However, after more than six years of public discussion, the chairman of the Commission decided to retain the existing limits of RF exposure.

The ICNIRP guidelines for the general public and occupational exposure are supported by the WHO.

The United States has the highest RF exposure limits for portable devices compared to the rest of the world. In other countries including mostly Western Europe and Russia, China, Switzerland, and several other countries the RF limits are a hundred times lower.

WHO Recommendations 

The WHO advises the public to adopt precautionary measures to reduce exposure. Other national radiation authorities have recommended measures to minimize exposure.

These are simple basic measures for protection from EMR:

  • Use hands-free to decrease the radiation to the head
how to protect from cell phone radiation
Photo credit: Pexels/Fauxels

Use a hands-free device places more distance between the phone and the head that is definitely beneficial as opposed to putting it close to the head. So keep it away from your head using earphones. Professor Lawrie Challis and others confirmed that clipping a ferrite onto hands-free kits stops the radio waves from traveling up the wire and into the head.

  • Keep the mobile phone away from the body

This is absolutely a must. Unfortunately, many teens do not follow this rule of thumb and keep their mobile in a pocket.

  • Do not use your phone in a car without an external antenna

Some countries recommend moderate use of mobile phones for children because they can get a specific absorption rate (SAR) levels about 153 percent higher than adults. In addition, with a decrease in the permittivity of the brain as it grows older and an increase in the relative volume of the open growing brain in children, radiation penetrates far beyond the midbrain.

5G tower
Photo credit: Wikimedia

How to Protect Your Home from 5G?

Although there is no way to truly and completely shield yourself, there are a few tips that can certainly protect you best from the dangers of 5G radiation:

Keep your distance as much as possible

Increase the distance between you and all electronic devices. This measure will not completely eliminate the effects of 5G exposure, but it will help to reduce the risks associated with prolonged exposure to harmful radiation

Measure levels whenever possible

Use the device to identify areas of strong electromagnetic radiation. There is currently no EMF meter that detects 5G because so far there have been no requirements. These devices will not emit one specific type of radiation, but will only detect sources with a high level of radiation.

Buy EMF shield

To minimize the effects of 5G radiation emitted by your phone, check for EMC products such as special cases or diodes that can be attached directly to your mobile device. Although they do not completely eliminate the risk of 5G radiation, they claim to reduce their exposure by up to 90%.

Protect your home as much as possible

The most important things to consider when protecting your home from 5G radiation are moderation and self-education.

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How to limit your exposure to EMF radiation?

  • Unplug Wi-Fi-enabled devices when not in use. This is the easiest way, and it will become even more important when 5G becomes popular.
  • Keep your bedroom away from phones and other devices operating on 5G networks and frequencies. This will not only help improve your sleep but also reduce your exposure in the room, which you will inevitably spend most of your night.
  • Ultimately, we must educate ourselves as much as possible and take proactive measures to limit our exposure to radiation, where possible.

Thus, if we educate ourselves and research how to protect ourselves from 5G, we will be able to maintain a healthy and safe life for us and our family. Are you ready for 5G? Have you decided how to protect yourself and your home from 5G? Please share your thoughts and leave your comment below.

What Is 5G Technology and Is it Safe?

5G or 5th generation of cellular networks represents a next-generation wireless network. It’s a new version of cellular technology that can increase the speed of cell phones and other wireless devices.

5G networks began to be deployed in 2019 and are being introduced as a replacement for 4G. Therefore, there are differences between the two networks.

Numerous studies have shown the harmful effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on human health. However, the US FCC which adopted the limits of exposure to RF radiation in the late 1990s decided to retain the existing limits of RF exposure.

5G vs 4G Frequency

The main difference between 4G and 5G is that 4G networks operate at low-frequency waves below 6 GHz. Therefore the receiving towers can be installed a few miles away and still work fine.

The 5G technology is used to send and receive very large amounts of data at superfast speeds by utilizing both low-band and high-band frequencies from 30 to 300 GHz. Higher frequencies are mainly generated by electromagnetic radiation called millimeter waves (MMW) from 24 to 52 GHz. MMWs can transmit large amounts of data over short distances.

5G frequencies also have greater directional accuracy. 4G receiving towers are currently operating, by shooting radio waves in different directions. 5G towers provide accurate beam data at a higher concentration and can potentially provide ultra-fast bandwidth for more than 1000 devices per square meter than 4G. Ultimately, they are more effective than 4G.

Is 5G Really Faster?

Using higher frequency radio waves means greater bandwidth speeds. This translates to internet speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.

Therefore, instead of cell towers, as in the case of 4G, 5G towers should be located much closer to each other, since they operate at higher frequencies using shorter radio waves. 5G networks will use cells that will require an array of mini-cell receptors installed on almost every house to get the best coverage.

The speed of the mobile Internet, 100 times the current network speed, sounds great! However, there are concerns that 5G will bring more serious health problems, both due to the use of more powerful radiation and because of the increased number of receiving towers and mini-cell receptors needed for the network.

Cell Phone Radiation Effects on Human Health

All electronic devices create electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of radiation, which can be harmful to our health. Numerous studies have shown a link between EMF radiation and various health issues.

A study conducted in 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the WHO, classified radiofrequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and labeled mobile devices as a Class 2B carcinogen. WHO recognized that more research was needed on the long-term intensive use of wireless devices.

The study of the US National Toxicology Program conducted for ten years and published in November 2018 found cancerous tumors in the heart, brain and adrenal gland of rodents exposed to high levels of radiofrequency radiation (2G and 3G frequencies). Similar results were obtained in a study at the Ramazzini Institute.

Numerous studies have reported an increased risk of developing brain tumors or statistically significant associations between cell phone use and cancer in humans.

The effects of EMF on the human body included the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disorders, impairments in the nervous system, eyesight,  infertility, miscarriage, mental problems associated with depression, anxiety and neurodegenerative disorders.

Studies of the EMF effect revealed critical changes in cell metabolism, changes in cell development, oxidative stress (free radicals), DNA damage, and an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

However, international and national advisory institutions in different countries still consider these studies inconsistent and inconclusive.

5G Health Risks

Most of the studies examined exposure to 2G and 3G network frequencies and their conclusions about links were very difficult to draw out.

Studies on 5G radiation have not been carried in detail, as with previous generations of radio frequencies. The lack of research on the long-term effects of low-frequency radiation is due to the fact that we haven’t been using them long enough.

The biological effect of MMWs has been studied for decades and showed their potentially dangerous effects. However, very few studies have examined the long-term effects of low-intensity MMWs.

Studies have shown that low-intensity MMWs may affect cell cycle and proliferation and alter structural and functional properties of membranes. Cellular water was the main acceptor of MMW radiation and when dissociated produced reactive oxygen species (ROS).  Moreover, MMW irradiation may affect DNA stability and density, and increase the permeability of lipid bilayer membranes (reviewed by Ramundo-Orlando, 2010). Obviously, more research is needed for a full understanding of the biological effects of low-intensity MMW radiation.

Opposition to 5G in Geneva
Opposition to 5G in Geneva. Credit: Wikimedia

The Effects of Radio Frequencies on Children 

Children may be even at a greater risk because their nervous systems are still developing and skulls are thinner than those of adults. Thus they are more vulnerable to the effects of the radiation emitted by the phones.

Importantly children and adolescents will likely have more years of cumulative exposure to radio frequencies from mobile phones than adults.

The EU-funded MOBI-Kids study is underway to examine risk factors for developing childhood brain tumors associated with exposure to radio frequencies and extremely low frequencies (ELF) from mobile phones in 14 countries around the world.

A Swedish study reported a 4-fold increased risk of a brain tumor in children who began to regularly use mobile phones and other wireless devices under the age of 20.

Other studies have shown negative effects of radio frequencies on children including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and asthma.

Children should be taught how to use cell phones in moderation, using them with wired earphones, and avoid putting them directly on their ear. They should be aware of the adverse effects of cell phones from prolonged exposure.

Scientists Warn About 5G Dangers 

In 2015, EMF scientists from around the world signed a petition to the United Nations and the World Health Organization, in which they expressed their concern about the negative effects of EMF on health. The harmful effects of EMF on living organisms have been confirmed in over 10,000 studies.

In April 2018 the International Society of Doctors for the Environment signed the 5G Space Appeal calling to stop the deployment of 5G, including 5G from space satellites. Currently, nearly 200,000 signatories from 208 countries and territories have signed a petition.

The 5th generation of wireless technology will increase the level of radiation by 10 to100 times around the world, affecting everyone and everywhere.

This irresponsible act, which ignores numerous scientific studies about the harmful effects of EMFs, is considered “an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law”.

Read our recent article on 5G in the time of coronavirus here.

Updated on 07.07.2020

Tesla Developments for Sustainable Transportation

Tesla’s goal is to build the best electric cars and other clean products. Tesla’s mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.”

Tesla Motors’ journey began back in 2003. Since then, Tesla has created four powerful products – electric vehicles, which include Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Each of these products works very well in the market. Tesla is now expanding its automotive production with 8 programs for vehicles at various stages of development.

Since then Tesla has created 8 vehicle programs: Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y, Roadster next-gen, Minibus, Pickup truck, Semi.

Tesla Electric Cars

Presently, the company uses the Referral Program to encourage owners to purchase Tesla cars as well as solar panels or solar roofs. Here are Tesla electric vehicles coming by the end of the decade.

Next to read: Solar Powered Automotive Technology

Tesla Model S

This year will also be important for Model S and Model X. Both cars have long been in need of updating. Indeed, Tesla is constantly making changes to cars, but not in the way other manufacturers do.

In addition, This has been a significant update to the interior and technical specifications, which will allow Model S and Model X to increase their demand in the second half of the year.

Tesla Model 3

Obviously, 2018 was the year for Model 3, but Tesla will sell them even more in 2019. By the end of the year, production is expected to increase to 10 thousand cars per week.

Consequently, Tesla may increase demand for the base version of Model 3 with a standard battery. This is a mid-size sedan that starts at $ 35,000, with a maximum charge of more than 215 miles per battery. Moreover, Tesla is planning to expand Model 3 markets in 2019 and plans to sell it in Europe and Asia.

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y is an all-electric hybrid vehicle based on a third-age stage similar to Model 3. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said the entrance to the ‘Bird of Prey Wing’ office would look like a Model X vehicle.

In 2019, the presentation of the new crossover from Tesla Model Y was shown on March 15, 2019, as well as previous models, it can also be reserved. This was the first presentation since the last one, which took place in November 2017, at which the Semi and Roadster were shown.

As a result, its production is expected to begin in mid-2020 at Gigafactory 1, however, all new details about the production will be disclosed at the presentation.

Tesla car
Tesla Roadster. Credit: Image by Daniel Lopez from Pixabay
Tesla Pickup

In brief, Elon Musk spoke very clearly that the Tesla Pickup truck will be the company’s priority after Model Y, but third-generation vehicles, Model 3 and Model Y are currently needed.

Also, Musk confirmed that Tesla will launch a pickup truck and that it should be created in the next 3-4 years (2019-2020). Tesla expected to build on the back an all-electric cargo van, which will be designed for his pickup truck. Musk recently said that Tesla may introduce a prototype pickup in 2019.

The last Tesla Cybertruck arrived in November this year. The Cybertruck has a futuristic design that combines a sports car and a medium-duty truck.

Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla Cybertruck. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Tesla Minivan

The electric Minibus was a separate project and an important achievement for Tesla. Elon Musk claimed that the vehicle was based on the Model X chassis, which facilitates its generation. In his ‘Master Plan’, Musk called the vehicle a “High Passenger-Density Urban Transport Vehicle”.

Hence, Tesla Minibus is another promising vehicle at the main stages of development.

Tesla minivan
Tesla minivan
Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi is an all-electric heavy truck program developed by the previous Tesla Model S Director Jerome Guillen, Tesla Vice President of Vehicle Programs.

Here is the relevant part of the Master Plan: “In addition to consumer vehicles, two other types of electric vehicles are required: heavy trucks and high-density public transport, both of which are in the initial stages of development in Tesla and should be ready for opening next year. This Tesla CMS cargo will significantly reduce the cost of transportation, and security will increase, and he will really enjoy the operation. ”

So, Tesla plans to produce it this year. Even if production begins in 2019, we can expect extremely small batches. Musk mentioned the same timeline for the unveiling and production in their ‘Master Plan’: “6 to 9 months”, the concept of the unveiling, which should be in mid-2017.  It will be delivered within the next 3 to 4 years (2019-2020).

Tesla Semi
Tesla Semi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Tesla Bus Concept

Electric buses around the world will significantly reduce the demand for diesel. According to a Bloomberg New Energy report, switching to electric vehicles at the early stage is driven by buses.

Since Tesla is undoubtedly a leader in innovation in the field of green technologies, it was expected that they would offer an environmentally friendly alternative to public buses that consume gas.

Back in May 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk questioned the electric bus development project signed by Tesla. According to The Verge, Musk said the vehicle was under development to be presented by the end of 2017.

“I don’t know if the bus thing really makes sense in a shared and completely autonomous environment,” Musk answered the question about the project. “If it costs less than a bus ticket to use a shared autonomy fleet to go where you want, points to point, why don’t you just use it? So I don’t know”.

Finally, Musk then added that according to him traffic and urban density “can be completely lightened with tunnels”, referring to a bizarre project aimed at creating an underground tunnel system.

Tesla motorhome
Tesla Bus – The Motorhome

Tesla and Public Transport

The experience of Tesla Motors has become the springboard for Proterra’s electric bus business, which today is one of North America’s major brands with zero emissions tires. Other competitors are Canadians New Flyers and Chinese BYD.

Tesla’s CEO’s antipathy towards public transport is well known: “I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time”, he said.

Tesla CEO ruled out the production of a regular-sized real bus; the door remained open for a vehicle with 10 or 12 seats.

Musk’s preference for vans was confirmed in a tweet published by Musk in November 2018, in which he looks forward to a collaboration with Daimler (an early investor in Tesla shares) to produce an electric van.

As a result, in January 2019, Tesla CEO announced that the company has released all of its more than 200 patents for electric cars. “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” Musk wrote on Tesla’s website. “Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open-source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

What’s next? Will Tesla Motors go further with solar-powered vehicles? Read here.