On 8 Mar 2015 at 16:21, Lawrence Rhodes via EV wrote:

> I have questions about how a solar panel acts like a wing on the top of
> a vehicle. Can it be made  into an advantage. 

PV panels are flat, aren't they?  I don't see why one would act like a wing 
unless it were shaped like a wing.

That said, I'm sure it would affect the vehicle's aerodynamics somehow.  I 
just don't know how, or what you'd do to try to compensate for it.  

If it could be made to act as a wing, I don't see how that would help you, 
unless you plan to fly.  If you get lift from it, you risk losing control; 
if the opposite, you increase effective mass and thus rolling friction.  
Maybe I'm missing something.

Assuming you're more of an engineer than I am (calculus was a LONG time ago 
for me, and I haven't really used it in over 40 years), you might try 
contacting some of the students who've worked on entries in Australia's 
World Solar Challenge.  Maybe they'd let you look at some of their 
engineering work.  

I haven't followed it much in recent years.  However, I seem to recall that 
in the 1990s most of them at least partly furled their PV panels to reduce 
aero disruption when under way, expecting to capture most of their photons 
when stopped.  But I might be remembering that incorrectly.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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