Top 10 Different Types Of Solar Transportation Technologies

Tim Hamlin
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Solar-Powered Cars

These vehicles are, unsurprisingly, one of the most efficient types of solar transportation possible, as they run completely on their solar panels. They will use human power as their main source of energy, but they will also be equipped with a solar array to capture free energy from the sun. Of course, you will need to make sure that you can charge your solar car during the day, so where you keep your car will depend on that. Most of them can be charged during the night, are lighter, faster, cheaper and overall more efficient than traditional combustion cars. These vehicles have become more and more popular in recent years as they are spreading, and major companies are starting to get involved with designing these cars.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Solar-Powered Cars?

A solar-powered car is a car that is powered by solar panels; these panels convert solar energy to electric power, which is then used to fuel the car. Not only do these vehicles do well in making comparisons with gas-guzzling cars, but they are also considered to be more eco-friendly and cheaper in the long run.

Advantages of Using Solar-Powered Cars

They are eco-friendly, and environment-friendly.

Since they are environment-friendly, they greatly contribute to preserving the environment for tomorrow’s generation. The main source of energy for these cars is sunlight, so you won’t have to worry about the harmful effects of emissions.

These cars are also nature friendly; they don’t produce any gases that could affect the environment. They do not release harmful chemicals in the environment that could affect the ozone layer or contribute to global warming.

So if you are eco-friendly, then you should definitely consider using these vehicles.

They offer a safe and fast ride

If we consider both the safety and speed of these vehicles, then it is agreed that they are safer and faster than most other vehicles on the road.

Solar Trains

A solar train is a train that uses solar energy as its primary power source, or is completely powered by solar energy. Solar energy is the main source of power for the train, but the second source of power, used when the sun isn’t out, can be electric batteries, wind power, or other alternative means.

The train uses photovoltaic cells to collect solar energy from the sun and create electricity that powers it through the day. While typically thought of as positive, photovoltaic cells also create some amount of heat. This usually isn’t enough heat to be noticed, but in some cases it can result in temperatures high enough to take extra measures in keeping the train cars cool.

The train vehicles are painted to help absorb light and convert that energy into electricity. Sometimes the frame of the ride is made of materials that help the train absorb as much solar energy as possible. Many train cars include photovoltaic panels, solar window shades, or other technology that helps the train collect and use solar energy.

Other benefits to solar trains include no reliance on fossil fuels like crude oil, natural gas, coal, propane, etc. The solar trains are also considered environmentally friendly since no fossil fuels are burned as a power source.

How Do Solar-Powered Trains Generate Power?

Passenger trains run on diesel and electricity. Diesel is used to charge the train's batteries, which are used to power the train. Electricity is used to power the train directly. Charging the train’s batteries during the day has been the standard for a long time. Batteries are usually charged in parking lots, where the train stops for periods of time during the day. This is a great practice for commuter trains and slower trains, but doesn't work for long-distance trains and high-speed trains.

Solar panel-powered trains run on diesel and electricity. Diesel is still used to charge the battery during the day. Electricity is used to power the train directly. These hybrid trains are usually used for high-speed trains and long-distance travel, due to the fact that they can't charge the battery in periods of short stops during the day. These solar panel-powered trains still require diesel because of the nature of high-speed/long-distance travel. Diesel trains require maintenance to the tracks and brakes to operate properly.

Passenger model luxury cruise boats. This type of solar technology converts the sunlight into electricity to power components that control the boat. The main advantage of this technology is that nothing has to be installed on the boat. The initial cost is higher, but the maintenance is low.

Solar Planes

Solar planes will be the most common means of transportation in the future. It is the most optimal because of its popularity. It’s safety and the fact that it’s the most available. There is a lot of power in these solar planes. Solar planes are not only powered by solar energy but they also use carbon dioxide.

The technology is great because it will keep the pollutants away in the air. The Carbon Dioxide will be used in the process to make it a pollutant free process. It uses solar power but the technology behind it is that they have been using the Carbon Dioxide to make the air pollutants free. There are several airlines planned; some of them are already commissioned by NASA to use in order to improve its aircrafts.

Solar cars are a recent project for the newer technologies. They have used the solar power to generate electricity. This will substantially save on gas.

This will help to keep the cost of running this vehicle to a minimal. Solar cars are to be used in the future for people to have good transport. Anywhere that you go that you will be stuck you will be able to get back using this, without the extra cost of gas.

There are many solar cars that have been created and built. NASA was once the company that led this project.

Advantages Of Solar-Powered Planes

With air travel and over-sea trucking becoming a mainstay of modern society, there has been an increasing demand for carbon neutral transportation.

One potential future use for solar power in transportation is in planes and vehicles which rely on solar panels to generate electricity which can then be used to keep the plane airborne or run the truck.

However, there are a number of complications that need to be resolved before these vehicles can see wide use and adoption.

Solar Bikes and Scooters

The best and easiest way to bring solar technology to bicycles are solar panels to charge a battery on board. There are also several ways to bring solar charging to scooters.

How They Operate

Like commercial solar panels, solar cars are absorbants of solar radiation and change it into heat (thermopower), which is then used to power a generator that produces electricity.

Instead of being used to power your home, however, this electricity is made into motion by a battery (or batteries), and then used to operate an electric motor. This motor turns a wheel, which turns the tire, and thus you have a solar car.

Once the car is moving, it is standard practice to power just the motor to keep the charged batteries from being depleted. When using this method, it is important to consider the amount of time and energy it would take (and how efficient the car is) to charge the battery using solar power during the drive time.

Solar Roads

Solar roads are the roads containing solar panels in their middle. They can transfer solar energy to kinetic energy and store this energy in battery. The solar energy powers sustainable light or heating machines under the road surface. Solar roads provide a large place to absorb sunlight with reduced need of heating or cooling systems.

They may exist on major highways and their major task is to power electric vehicles between charging stations. Solar roads can be used as secondary energy source to recharge electric vehicles and stretch solar energy supply to sustain electric vehicles, which complete powered by electricity.

The Solar Impulse Of The Sea

The Wave Power Catamaran

All aboard the solar boat! The Wave Power Catamaran is one of the most innovative solar powered transportation modes on the planet. It has been invented by Dutch sailor, sailor/inventor, and developer, Marcel van Duijnhoven from the Netherlands.

Though hundreds of years old, sailing vessels are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and they’re solar powered! It’s great to see the oldest form of transportation get a futuristic twist. Marcel’s solar boat, which he has named “Solar Explorer,” was first presented in Brussels, Belgium in 2009 when showcased at the “Life Star” Transport Museum. It is a solar powered catamaran, and in fact, the fastest boat that sails on this planet.

The WavePowCat uses a special kind of solar panel called “pleated flexible thin-film solar panels” which sit on the boat’s deck and are connected to the boat’s masts. They are affixed to the boat with vertical booms along with the masts.

The Elf

The Elf Cloud is an eco transportation device. The Elf cloud can also be referred to as the sky walking bike, which is one of the top ten Solar Technologies. The sky moving bike is a device that moves much like a bird. It looks similar to a mountain bike, but also adds the ability to move through the sky.

If you are the adventurous type, and looking for a bike to exercise on, this may be the one for you. The Elf Cloud is simple and easy to maneuver. It will allow you to move around greater distances and in the cloud. The Elf cloud also turns heads wherever it goes. This is a great bike to bike through crowds or tourist areas.

It takes very little time to get the hang of. In fact, it is a device with which you will not have to be an experienced bike rider. Anyone can get the hang of the Elf cloud in a short time.


Solar powered aircraft have existed for decades, but they are not as efficient as they could be. Bamboo, a hollow carbon tube carrier, has been tested with 100 per cent success at the controls of a solar powered plane during a test flight of 8.3 miles.

The aircraft, named Gamera, is airborne 80 per cent of the time during the day. When it was tested in the summer, it operated for the entire day.

The new wind is an experimental noise-free aircraft. This aircraft has a solar powered engine of 30 seconds. It is like a very large solar panel. It will work without solar power if necessary.

This aircraft increase the advantages of solar power.

Solar-Powered Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-tuks are a cheap, easy way to travel in areas that don’t have well-developed public transit systems.

A tuk-tuk is a multi-passenger motorized taxi that is used in areas where there are few large roads.

In many areas of the world, the roads are typically very narrow and polluted.

Can be a cheap way to get around.

A lot of noise.

Not a lot of cargo room.

Solar-Powered Pipes

A solar-powered pipe is a water supply system for remote communities in underdeveloped areas. This technology has the potential to help eliminate the requirement for large amounts of diesel and to ensure that water is always available within a certain radius.

It could also be used as a back-up system when the main water source goes out. Instead of re-routing water, the solar-powered pipe would burst out and stabilize the water flow.

This technology does have limitations in that it is large and heavy, making it difficult to transport and expensive to install. Also, it needs to be very close to the water source and not exposed to high winds.

Advantages Of Paved Solar

The weight of the vehicles contributes to energy production in paved solar roadways. The solar panels are covered by two layers of tough silicon carbide glass and two overlaying layers of textured polymer sheets. When multiple vehicles drive over the solar panels or pavements, the weight of the vehicles compresses the layers slightly, which allows the light to enter the solar panels and convert to electricity.

The solar panels in the paving materials are durable. They can withstand heavy vehicle traffic, rain, floods and freeze-thaw cycles. The road lines in the solar roadways do not fade with time from the sun’s UV rays. The solar panels in the roadways are made from earth-friendly materials. The materials are crushed recycled glass and cheap industrial silica, which are both low-cost materials.

The solar roadways roofs are flexible and inlaid with solar panels. The overlaid panels are light because the base and underlay of the panels are made of glass-reinforced concrete.

The solar road panels include heating elements or sensors. The heating elements can melt snow and ice on the solar road panels in cold and snowy climates. The heating elements are incorporated into the solar roadways for safety reasons. The heating elements keep the roadways free from snow and ice to prevent road accidents.

Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

The implementation of solar panels also comes with several disadvantages. If you are thinking of getting them installed on your roof then you should know the following:

Cost- While the initial cost of the solar panels may appear attractive, their maintenance and recharging cost seem to be a nightmare for some.

Space Requirement- Again the huge solar panel requirement may pose a problem in terms of space. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a big open roof space for installing one.

So if you are a solar energy fan you should definitely consider the above mentioned disadvantages to avoid any confusion.

Further if you think of extending your house or building a new one then it is better if you think twice before installing the solar panel. Due to its extra size, it may reduce the space available for your house.

However, if you are looking for clean and eco-friendly energy as well as you are a wildlife lover then solar power is the best option for you.

Before you go ahead and buy one for yourself, you should see to it that you are capable of handling its maintenance and repairing. Solar energy does not come for free; it needs extra attention while its output and repair is very costly.

Once you are clear about that, you can go ahead and buy one for yourself. Do your homework before buying so that you get the right product for yourself and your house.

Also see the cost effects of using solar energy.

Future Scope Of Paved Solar

Solar road panels look like paving slabs but they are actually photovoltaic solar cells that can be embedded into asphalt or concrete to generate electricity. Solar road panels aren't new as they are already in use in some parts of the world.

Professional contractors carefully lay out the photovoltaic solar cells on slabs of asphalt or concrete. Arrows on the road panels will help keep traffic from driving on them. You can connect them up to the existing wiring to power street lights and to power Wi-Fi hotspots.

Solar road panels can generate electricity while cutting down on road maintenance needed to repair damaged concrete. The panels can be spaced about a foot apart and connected to a grid. More panels can be added to increase the amount of power generated. They are also relatively low cost and installation is quite simple. The cost of the panels will be more expensive than asphalt or concrete, but they carry a 50-year or more warranty.

Cost Efficient

By generating power in the sun, the panels can be placed in shaded or foggy areas and still generate electricity. While less electricity can be generated in poor conditions, it's generally still better than nothing.

Why Are There Not More Solar-Paneled Roads?

A lot of people have commented on how cool it would be to drive a solar paneled car or have a solar lighted road. However, the technology for this is not market-ready for mass production just yet. Plus, there is an increased amount of sunlight exposure when the panels are outside in the road, especially if that road is in a desert. So there would be a lot of maintenance required and the panels would need to be replaced often.

While still in the stages of development, it's not impossible that they could be installed in the future. If you look closely at the technology coming from all the various companies racing to make these solar paneled transportation paths then you will realize that we are very close to making this a reality.

In this article, we will discuss the process. Hopefully, when this technology will be created, we will also have an extensive knowledge of how it works, how much electricity it can produce, etc.

The Possibilities Of Solar Technology

In case you haven't heard, scientists are developing ways to harness the power of the sun to power each mode of transportation man uses. By the end of the year, the internal combustion engine could be a thing of the past. Okay… maybe not the year, but technically, they are still working on the designs, and successes are being implemented. Here's a look at the top 10 different types of solar transportation technologies.

Solar Powered Bikes

Out of all of the solar transportation technologies, this one is probably the most realistic. After all, there are plenty of people riding bikes today. It's very simple to add a solar panel to the bike. Known as the SolaRoof, the panel is fitted to the bike's roof rack, and the bars are designed to protect the bike's luggage. While it looks like a whole lot of work for not much gain, once you understand the benefits, it seems like a no-brainer. Each panel generates enough electricity to fully charge the bike's battery in about 4 hours. Imagine you're out having fun for the day, and if all goes according to plan, you won't have to worry about plugging in.

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