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Old 10-19-2021, 07:18 AM   #1
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Cool A fully solar-powered campervan has just driven through Europe

The future!

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/s...ntl/index.html
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:32 AM   #2
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More details, but still a little shy of specs, on the team's website:
https://vita.solarteameindhoven.nl/how-it-works

There's a lot of gullibility among reporters and the general public about just how much energy you can get out of solar. I was mostly looking for concrete numbers on solar wattage, but the best I found was this:
Quote:
The vehicle can typically travel up to 600 kilometers (373 miles) on its 60-kWh battery when fully charged, even at night and when it is cloudy. On a day when the sun is shining throughout, its range increases by an extra 130 kilometers (81 miles).
That suggests somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000W of solar panels while driving, which seems high given the footprint of the vehicle. More gets deployed when camping. But it looks like you'll need to boondock for about a week under ideal conditions to recharge enough to drive home, assuming you don't take any hot showers or make any pancakes!

Still I can see this being an interesting option for people with extremely flexible schedules wanting to spend long periods of time in one place.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:13 AM   #3
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Reminds me of a Citroen DS sedan for some reason?!
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AndrewInSeattle View Post
That suggests somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000W of solar panels while driving, which seems high given the footprint of the vehicle.
That seems plausible to me. I have two 190W panels that take up approximately 38% of the panel space I see in the pics (see what I did there? )
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Old 10-20-2021, 05:20 PM   #5
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That seems plausible to me. I have two 190W panels that take up approximately 38% of the panel space I see in the pics (see what I did there? )
Funny how that math works out! Yeah, 1000W is not terribly far out of the realm of possibility, I'm just dubious how that actually works out in real conditions, with the differing angles of the panels plus the sun not being perpendicularly overhead as much as one might wish. It might be more than an itty-bitty coincidence that they started in northern Europe in early summer

To be clear, I love solar and what it can accomplish, and I am most certainly not an expert. I've just had to suffer through a huge number of annoyingly naive do-gooders (long story, don't ask) advocating for putting solar panels on everything without doing the most elementary math or cost analysis to justify their "brilliant" idea that surely no one had ever thought of before.
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:15 PM   #6
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You're absolutely right, I'm dubious as well. Just needed some diversion from my workday.
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