HONOURABLE MENTION

Solar Car/ Transportation of the future

To build a solar powered car and improve its efficiency by changing the direction of the solar panel.

Hypothesis

To increase the speed and efficiency of a solar powered car, you should turn the solar panel perpendicular towards the sun which will generate more electric energy to increase the speed of the solar car.

Variables

Angle of solar panel facing the sun.

1. Solar panel facing the sun.

2. Solar panel facing up. (Not relative to the location of the sun)

Procedure

1. Build the solar powered car.

2. Test it out and measure the time it takes to travel 4 meters.

3. Tilt the solar panel perpendicular towards the sun and measure the time it needs to travel 4 meters.

4. Compare the two speeds.

Observations

I observed that when the solar panel was tilted perpendicular towards the sun, the car went really fast. I also observed that when the solar car was facing straight up it didn't go fast and it took longer to go 4 meters.

Analysis

Two scenarios were identified for analysis.

1. The time it takes for the solar car to travel 4 meters when the solar panel is facing up.

2. The time it takes for the solar car to travel 4 meters when the solar panel is perpendicular towards the sun.

The experiment was carried out 6 times for each scenario and the average speed was calculated for comparison. It was identified that the solar car traveled at a speed of 0.69 meters per second when the solar panel was facing up and at an average speed of 1.13 meters per second when the solar panel was facing the sun.

Conclusion

When the solar panel was facing straight up, the solar car recorded an average speed of 0.69 meters per second.

When the solar panel was tilted perpendicular facing towards the sun, the solar car recorded an average speed of 1.13 meters per second.

The solar car was traveling faster when the solar panel was facing towards the sun.

Therefore to improve the efficiency/ speed of a solar car, you have to turn the solar panel perpendicular towards the sun.

Application

The findings from this project will be useful in the development of future solar transportation where the solar panels in the solar cars would always face perpendicularly towards the sun regardless of the travel direction making them more efficient.

Acknowledgement

I thank my dad for helping me test my solar car and give me ideas on what to do for my project. I also thank Mrs.Shoults and Ms.Dixon for answering all my questions and helping me out.