Author Topic: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!  (Read 2610 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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The SunPlower is supposed to be able to power mobile phone towers, propel boats and submarines, and fly you around in an Air-Taxi!
Let's turn flat solar panels into wind turbine blades!
The laws of physics and engineering might have a lot to say about that...

« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 02:32:52 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline SmokedComponent

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 01:19:34 am »
Fascinating idea but obviously it would never work.

Everyone knows you can't power G5 death beam emitters with some puny little energy.
 

Offline nuclearcat

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2020, 01:31:03 am »
It seems wrong video linked in forum *(EEVblog #1271)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2020, 02:33:06 am »
It seems wrong video linked in forum *(EEVblog #1271)

Oops, fixed.
 

Offline WattsThat

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 03:51:08 am »
How do you couple the solar power from the rotating blades? That needs lots of slip rings, one set for each blade and and another for the main hub. Oh, wait, it’s wireless. Duoh :phew:
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 04:23:10 am »
SunPlower is just taking the piss out of alternative renewable energy. If you look at the website it has virtually no detail and claims of being the solution to just about everything from submarine propulsion to flying cars. Why waste any time on it.

In a brief (very) online search I found this
https://www.facebook.com/siva.raghuram
https://www.sunplower.de/   Just look at the photo of the mobile phone tower. No sign of any street address for contact.
https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/693410-we-humans-are-on-the-wrong-path-for-energy-risking-existence-ceo-sunplower 

Someone by that name and Texas Instruments do have some patents but none I could find (brief search of 5 minutes) for Sunplower.
https://patents.justia.com/patent/20140218018
 
It is basically trolling.               
 

Offline station240

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2020, 09:20:32 am »
How do you couple the solar power from the rotating blades? That needs lots of slip rings, one set for each blade and and another for the main hub. Oh, wait, it’s wireless. Duoh :phew:

Plus solar panels are DC, so those slip rings are going to have a reduced life due to breaking high current DC.

Also as pointed out in the youtube comments for #1321.
MPPT tracker vs SunPlower blanes
W = V * I and ...
... hmm higher than last time, lets try I = 5A and...
That's way out, how did that happen.
Stay still.
Voltage is all over the place.
Just a minute W = V *... ARRRGHH!
Grrr... why is nothing staying still.
Did some dork attach the solar array to a propeller or something!?!?!
*fatal error rebooting*
MPPT tracker V1.3
Checking system....
Fail
Error 17 FUBAR
*magic smoke escapes*
 
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Online Per Hansson

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2020, 09:54:27 am »
Their location shown on their website via Google maps is centered on the Valentin-Karlstadt-Musäum in München (Munich) Germany.

They only have a German Wikipedia page, here is a Google translate of the first paragraph:
The Valentin-Karlstadt-Musäum [ 'falɛntiːn ] - is a city museum in Munich, which is dedicated to the comedian Karl Valentin, his partner Liesl Karlstadt and the Munich folk singer.
 

Offline skvalen

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 11:03:46 am »
hmm no impressum (name, address, VAT number, etc.) required by German law.

and why is the google map in Brazilian Portuguese, in a German company?

yeah this is a serious company...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 02:34:39 pm »
How do you couple the solar power from the rotating blades? That needs lots of slip rings, one set for each blade and and another for the main hub. Oh, wait, it’s wireless. Duoh :phew:

Plus solar panels are DC, so those slip rings are going to have a reduced life due to breaking high current DC.

Also as pointed out in the youtube comments for #1321.
MPPT tracker vs SunPlower blanes
W = V * I and ...
... hmm higher than last time, lets try I = 5A and...
That's way out, how did that happen.
Stay still.
Voltage is all over the place.
Just a minute W = V *... ARRRGHH!
Grrr... why is nothing staying still.
Did some dork attach the solar array to a propeller or something!?!?!
*fatal error rebooting*
MPPT tracker V1.3
Checking system....
Fail
Error 17 FUBAR
*magic smoke escapes*

 :-+
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 02:38:43 pm »
SunPlower is just taking the piss out of alternative renewable energy. If you look at the website it has virtually no detail and claims of being the solution to just about everything from submarine propulsion to flying cars. Why waste any time on it.

Because it's funny.

Quote
In a brief (very) online search I found this
https://www.facebook.com/siva.raghuram
https://www.sunplower.de/   Just look at the photo of the mobile phone tower. No sign of any street address for contact.
https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/693410-we-humans-are-on-the-wrong-path-for-energy-risking-existence-ceo-sunplower 

Someone by that name and Texas Instruments do have some patents but none I could find (brief search of 5 minutes) for Sunplower.
https://patents.justia.com/patent/20140218018
 
It is basically trolling.               

They are going to a lot of effort:

 

Offline max_torque

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 04:06:46 pm »
by rotating the blades at exactly 50 (or 60) Hz, surely you could drive an AC transformer directly from the solar panels !!!   :bullshit:  winner, winner, chicken dinner  :popcorn:
 

Offline KumarM

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 05:55:38 pm »
Wow what a disgraceful personal attack on a year old startup and its founder. When did we as a society become so cynical?

I understand doing a hit piece like this on a company that raised Billion dollars in funding and having no product to show for. But this a startup that is less than a year old with no external funding and showing regular work in progress on their youtube channel.

I am sure technology sounds impossible and may be it is. But isn't that startup's should be striving for?

Founder has at least 13 patents to his name and obviously not just some random guy like some comments here seem to suggest: https://patents.justia.com/inventor/siva-raghuram-prasad-chennupati

At least have you tried to reach out to founder and pose the same questions before doing a nasty hit piece? Or would actually following some journalistic standards and doing real work cut into your ad $$'s?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:07:54 pm by KumarM »
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2020, 06:39:58 pm »
Ideas like this getting somewhere without people doing "back of the envelope" calculations is entirely due to the emergance of e-mail.

There just are not that many envelopes lying around...
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. - Albert Einstein
Tesla referral code https://ts.la/neil53539
 

Offline MK14

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2020, 07:10:40 pm »
Wow what a disgraceful personal attack on a year old startup and its founder. When did we as a society become so cynical?

I understand doing a hit piece like this on a company that raised Billion dollars in funding and having no product to show for. But this a startup that is less than a year old with no external funding and showing regular work in progress on their youtube channel.

I am sure technology sounds impossible and may be it is. But isn't that startup's should be striving for?

Founder has at least 13 patents to his name and obviously not just some random guy like some comments here seem to suggest: https://patents.justia.com/inventor/siva-raghuram-prasad-chennupati

At least have you tried to reach out to founder and pose the same questions before doing a nasty hit piece? Or would actually following some journalistic standards and doing real work cut into your ad $$'s?

You mean evidence like this ?



Or this:



Or even this:




Why not just build one (a drone, with this 'wonderful' new fan/wing type), and demonstrate it ?
How high can it fly ?
How quiet is it ?
How much energy does it use ?
How long does the sun/wind take to charge it up and how far can it travel from that charge ?

I.e. Demonstrate and prove it. E.g. Flying up at speed and reaching 100 metres up (safely please).
Those youtube videos, don't seem to show proper testing of it.
Yes, they show someone can make animated pictures of one working, a motor slowly spinning the fan, and a very powerful fan slightly/partly spinning the blades.
But that is just basic stuff.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 07:13:04 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline Domagoj T

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2020, 07:14:10 pm »
Wow what a disgraceful personal attack on a year old startup and its founder. When did we as a society become so cynical?

I understand doing a hit piece like this on a company that raised Billion dollars in funding and having no product to show for. But this a startup that is less than a year old with no external funding and showing regular work in progress on their youtube channel.

I am sure technology sounds impossible and may be it is. But isn't that startup's should be striving for?

Founder has at least 13 patents to his name and obviously not just some random guy like some comments here seem to suggest: https://patents.justia.com/inventor/siva-raghuram-prasad-chennupati

At least have you tried to reach out to founder and pose the same questions before doing a nasty hit piece? Or would actually following some journalistic standards and doing real work cut into your ad $$'s?
Did you register just to say this?
What does it matter if it's a year old startup, or where the money comes from? They've been at it for a year and still haven't figured out that it's a stupid idea.
Cynicism has nothing to do with this either. This is a criticism of a proposal.
Startups can strive for whatever they want. They don't get immunity from criticism.
Patents mean next to nothing. They certainly are not an indication of soundness of a proposal.
 

Offline KumarM

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2020, 07:21:38 pm »
Did you register just to say this?
What does it matter if it's a year old startup, or where the money comes from? They've been at it for a year and still haven't figured out that it's a stupid idea.
Cynicism has nothing to do with this either. This is a criticism of a proposal.
Startups can strive for whatever they want. They don't get immunity from criticism.
Patents mean next to nothing. They certainly are not an indication of soundness of a proposal.

Yes I came here from watching the video.
Nothing wrong with Criticism of a proposal or the idea, But personally attacking a founder of early stage startup is a no go.
Crazy ideas are what changes the world. And yes 99.999% of them fail. That doesn't mean we should be personally attacking the Founder.
 

Offline MK14

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2020, 08:12:39 pm »
And yes 99.999% of them fail.

That's fine.
Let's say we are Edison, a long time ago, trying to invent the worlds first, working light bulb.

(Very, very approximately), you set up a glass test light bulb (which can be sealed and vacuumated, as necessary), which is ready, to take on lots of test filaments.
You get hold of something like 2,000 test samples. Cotton, carbon coated cotton, aluminium wire, gold wire, etc etc.

Most of them almost burn out straight away, and either give no light, or just light up for half a second and then go pop, and burn out.
Eventually, you come to carbon or Tungsten, 1999 samples later. You suddenly find it glows a really nice, semi-white, yellowish glow and lasts for ages and ages.
You then take the Tungsten (or carbon) filament, and refine/improve it, until it lasts for a very long time before burning out.

Finally, you go to the patent office, and say you have invented the worlds first electric light bulb, then manufacture and sell it. Then accept your fame in the worlds history books.

What you don't/shouldn't do, is try your first sample. E.g. Stone. It doesn't work, even slightly. Then stop, and tell everyone about your wonderful, stone filament light bulbs. Which glow, a really fetching shade of black/invisible light.

tl;dr
Fine, try the invention. If it doesn't work, don't tell people about it. Move on to the next thing. Because you may need to try 2, 10, 100 or even 2,000 things (such as lamp filaments, a long time ago), before you find something useful and sellable/marketable.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 08:16:22 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline KumarM

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2020, 08:33:56 pm »
tl;dr
Fine, try the invention. If it doesn't work, don't tell people about it. Move on to the next thing. Because you may need to try 2, 10, 100 or even 2,000 things (such as lamp filaments, a long time ago), before you find something useful and sellable/marketable.

Obvious, there are multiple paths to final invention. Not everyone choses the same path and who are we to dictate the path to anyone?
My point is Author/Blogger/YouTuber was being too juvenile in personally attacking founder of an early stage startup.
 

Offline MK14

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2020, 08:49:09 pm »
Obvious, there are multiple paths to final invention. Not everyone choses the same path and who are we to dictate the path to anyone?
My point is Author/Blogger/YouTuber was being too juvenile in personally attacking founder of an early stage startup.

To a fair or even large extent, you are right. I agree.
Anyway, sometimes the path to success, is to take something, which doesn't work yet. Then ask/show other people and eventually find out what is wrong and/or how to fix it.

I HAVEN'T seen the video, in this thread. But, can guess what it would be like, from others I have seen.

I hope that there is no intention of starting up a kickstarter or something, as the invention is at way too early a stage to be something that the general public should be investing in. It really needs to show some kind of merit or performance, FIRST, before doing that.

tl;dr
You're right. It MAY be unfair to be making fun of the project. As I already said, I haven't seen the OP video (except a very quick glance), and don't know much about this project (read the spec, seen his youtube videos, and partly read this thread), so to comment much more, without knowing a lot more. Is not something I should do.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 08:51:25 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline Maloxyl

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2020, 09:10:56 pm »
hmm no impressum (name, address, VAT number, etc.) required by German law.

I also couldn't find a company named "Sunplower" in the company registers. Perhaps they use some other name for that or it is not (yet) a real company, just a one-man-show.
 

Offline SparkyFX

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2020, 11:02:51 pm »
Wow what a disgraceful personal attack on a year old startup and its founder.
Means nothing in terms of physics or for the ideas presented, even if the media is favoring personality cults and eccentric ideas.

Quote
When did we as a society become so cynical? [...] I am sure technology sounds impossible and may be it is. But isn't that startup's should be striving for?
If public funding is involved there should be questions about the viability of an idea, if its private funding ... well, their problem.

The thing is: no one would care about unfinished, bad or implausible ideas, but in the moment of publishing them, trying to get funds for them, getting products with them in circulation/on the market, these have to face skepticism and have to pass basic tests for plausibility - one way or the other*. Because this is what separates them from science fiction, which authors then also would classify as such. (* the other being financial ruin at the end)

Bolting solar panels to wind turbines is not even particulary hard, a working prototype is scaleable, but the fundamental problem is that wind direction and sun inclination are two separate things.
Support your local planet.
 

Offline WattsThat

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2020, 03:57:07 am »
How is pointing out the obvious stupidity of a device a personal attack? So what if the “inventor” is named? The internet is a public place. The device is such an obvious crackpot idea that it is good to know who is promoting such nonsense as they tend to be serial offenders.

Applying emotion to every situation and looking to be offended by basic human behavior is a sure pathway to constant, lifelong misery. A far better path is to engage and learn something new everyday which requires learning critical thinking skills. Seriously, those skills may save your life some day.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2020, 06:28:28 am »
Wow what a disgraceful personal attack on a year old startup and its founder. When did we as a society become so cynical?

A ridiculous impractical idea and wild claims will be ridiculed by the engineering community. Welcome to engineering.

Quote
I understand doing a hit piece like this on a company that raised Billion dollars in funding and having no product to show for. But this a startup that is less than a year old with no external funding and showing regular work in progress on their youtube channel.

Doesn't matter who it is, if you make ridiculous claims then don't be surprised when someone calls you out on it.

Quote
I am sure technology sounds impossible and may be it is. But isn't that startup's should be striving for?

They can do whatever they want, just don't expect to be immune from criticism and engineers laughing at stupid claims.

Quote
Founder has at least 13 patents to his name and obviously not just some random guy like some comments here seem to suggest: https://patents.justia.com/inventor/siva-raghuram-prasad-chennupati

So what. You make stupid claims you get called out, that's how it works.

Quote
At least have you tried to reach out to founder and pose the same questions before doing a nasty hit piece? Or would actually following some journalistic standards and doing real work cut into your ad $$'s?

Basic calculations and inspection of the design can prove these claims are utter rubbish.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #1321 - SunPlower - DUMBEST IDEA Since Solar Roadways!
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2020, 06:30:57 am »
That doesn't mean we should be personally attacking the Founder.

What did I say that "personally attacked the founder"? Please be very specific.
 


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