Hyundai Motor Group has announced plans to introduce solar charging technology on select Hyundai vehicles. Solar panels will be incorporated into the roof or the hood of these vehicles. The energy generated from these panels will add to the output of hybrid and electric vehicles.
‚ÄúIn the future, various types of electricity generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles. This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy,‚ÄĚ said Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice President of Engineering Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group., who has developed this technology. ‚ÄúThe paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer.‚ÄĚ
It is no unknown reality that energy conservation and the pursuit of alternative, non-harmful sources of energy is of dire necessity today. Hyundai realizes this, and is already investing in innovative methods to supplement its current range of combustion, hybrid, and electric engines. The latest in its continued innovations is the induction of solar charging panels in the roof of select Hyundai cars.
When a 100W solar panel is equipped, it produces 100Wh of energy per hour (peak output around noon in summer). The control unit contains a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) which controls voltage and current to increase the¬†efficiency of the electricity collected in the solar panel.
The South Korean automaker is developing three types of solar roof systems. The first-generation silicon solar roof system, a second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system, and a third-generation lightweight solar-lid on the body of the vehicle.
The first-gen system will be used on hybrids. It includes a structure of mass-produced silicon solar panels that are mounted on an ordinary roof.¬† This system can charge 30 to 60 percent of the battery per day depending on the weather and environment.
The second-generation system is semi-transparent and will be applied to vehicles with internal combustion engines for the first time in the world. It provides transmissive panel options for customers who appreciate a sense of openness. These can be applied to a panoramic sunroof.
Finally, the third-generation lightweight solar-lid system include a structure that mounts solar panels on a bonnet and roof combined, in a bid to maximize output. Hyundai is currently pilot testing the technology for application on electric vehicles.