A research group from Freiburg has developed a kind of solar film for cars. This allows solar energy to be converted directly into range.
Image: Fraunhofer ISE
Many cars are exposed to direct sunlight for a large part of their lifetime. So why not use the incoming rays of the sun to convert them into useful electricity. This can be an advantage, especially in times of increasingly popular electric cars.
The idea is not new. Cars with integrated solar cells have even been commercially available for a few years. But now, for the first time, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed a film that can be easily retrofitted to all kinds of models.
Increase range by 4,000 km
“We applied the solar cells to the sheet metal hood of a car model that is often sold in Germany, connected them and laminated them with foil,” says Dr. Martin Heinrich, coordinator for PV mobility at Fraunhofer ISE. “To achieve this, the lamination process has been carefully optimized to minimize air gaps, avoid wrinkling of the film module due to the curved surface, and maintain the overall integrity of the hood structure.”
The color of the foil can be adapted to the color of the car. At the IAA Mobility, the team is presenting a prototype whose bonnet has been fitted with 120 Perc shingle solar cells with a nominal output of 115 watts.
As Spiegel Online reports, such a solar film could increase the range of your own electric car by up to 4,000 kilometers per year. Two thirds of the energy would come from the roof and one third from the bonnet. “An expansion of the technical possibilities for the integration of photovoltaics in vehicle shells will convince more and more customers, there is still a lot of potential here,” says Dr. Harry Wirth, Head of Power Solutions at Fraunhofer ISE, sure.
Source: Fraunhofer ISE