Solar Centipede – Part II – Solar Energy Calculations

In the Solar Centipede – Part I, the solar energy captured was a very crude estimate of 205 w per hour from a 340 w top mounted panel and 2 x 100 w panels on either side of the carriage mounted vertically.

In order to get a more accurate calculation of the performance of the vehicle, it is necessary to more accurately model how much energy the vehicle has available to move.

Online Solar Panel Calculators

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Calculator

Solar Electricity Handbook Solar Radiation Calculator

Details for Calculation

Alice Springs, Australia (-23.69748, 133.88362)

Efficiency of Panel = 17.5% (340w panel on Alibaba)

Top Panel – Average Solar Radiation Per Day/M^2, per Month of Year, for top panel facing upwards = 5.25 kw/h

Top Panel Available Energy = Total Radiation * efficiency * area = 5.25 * 0.175 * 2 = 1.83 kw/h per day Side Panels – Average Solar Radiation Per Day/M^2, per Month of year, for assuming average orientation of 45 degrees = 3.25 kw/h

(At there are panels on either side of the vehicle, we can assume the average orientation is 45 degrees)

Side Panels Available Energy = Total Radiation * efficiency * area = 3.25 * 0.175 * 0.8 = 0.455 kw/h per day Total Average Available Energy in Alice Springs = 2.285 kw/h per carriage (Yearly Average Speed over 24 hours would be, 38 km/h) (Yearly Average Speed Math)

Mid Winter Solar Captured Value = 1.91 kw/h per carriage (Winter Average Speed over 24 hours would be, 28km/h) (Winter Average Speed Math)

Mid Summer Solar Captured Value = 3.26 kw/h per carriage (Summer average Speed over 24 hours would be 55 km/h) (Summer Average Speed Math)