Sunpower now makes some very nice flexible panels.  You could get an
airifoil effect from them, and they are very efficient.

However, I don't think it is a useful exercise trying to get lift or ground
effect from solar panels.  You don't want lift as it would be less stable
and a poorer road handling machine, you will never go fast enough to get a
ground effect that matters.

On Sun, Mar 8, 2015 at 7:52 PM, EVDL Administrator via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org
> wrote:

> 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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