Invisible solar cells for car roofs

PV-Magazine: An increasing number of carmakers and research institutes are developing concepts that combine e-mobility and solar. Thus far, range additions from in-car panels of between 10 and 60km are the limit of innovation. The Fraunhofer roof is tinted with a color that hides the cells but lets through most of the light.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems brought along a PV module application to its booth at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. With electric mobility on everyone’s lips, the addition of solar modules to car bodywork is gaining traction and Fraunhofer ISE presented a car roof featuring monocrystalline silicon cells with shingle interconnections.

 

The integrated car roof has a maximum output of 210 W/m². On a regular station wagon roof, that would add up to around 300 W. On a sunny summer day that could extend driving range by around 10 km.

“This corresponds to an annual extension of an average mileage by approximately 10%, or an equivalent reduction in fuel consumption,” stated a Fraunhofer announcement. “The calculation is based on the unshaded solar radiation in Freiburg im Breisgau, the consumption of an electric car of 17 kWh per 100km and an annual mileage of 15,000km.” The institute claimed it would be possible to use the current generated to power air conditioning or heating, both drains on power which would otherwise limit range.

 

Image: Fraunhofer ISE

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