On January 2, 2018 at 19:17, Dean Roddey said...
You could even imagine something like window blinds that are solar cells on the outside. If all the windows on one side or two sides of tall buildings in cities (the sides where the sun is shining and where therefore most folks have the blinds at least partially closed) were collector surfaces, that's space that otherwise is wasted that could be used to generate energy. That's a lot of surface area and up off the ground where it will be hit early and late in the day, when ground (or roof) based collectors aren't going to be doing much or anything.
Agree there are also some buildings with solar panels on the walls.
Also, though you couldn't drive a car on solar, if it's a hybrid or electric, there's nothing wrong with the top of the car being all collector surface, obviously under some sort of hard shell protective layer. It can only help by topping up the battery a bit as you are out.
To me solar panels on a car is a none starter, but that might also be attributed to where I live. In the winter time I leave for work and it is dark, I get home and it is dark, solar panels would add nothing so it would amount to just an extra manufacturing expense.
As for hybrids they do get slightly better mileage but I don't feel it is enough to counter the extra cost, the mechanics is also more complex that means more can go wrong. Personally I think the answer to electric cars is a battery/grid based system when the car can be charged from the grid while you are driving.