Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor
have announced plans to introduce ‘solar roof’ charging technology on select
Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. Electricity-generating solar panels will be incorporated
into the roof or the hood of vehicles, and will support internal combustion,
hybrid and battery electric vehicles with additional electrical power,
increasing fuel efficiency and range.
Hyundai Motor Group will
launch the first generation of this technology into its vehicles after 2019 to
help meet global regulations targets and improve vehicle fuel efficiency.
The solar charging technology
is being developed to support the vehicle’s main power source, improving
mileage and reducing CO2 emissions. The system will have the capability to
charge the batteries of eco-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as
those of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, helping to improve fuel
Hyundai Motor Group is
developing three types of solar roof charging systems: The first-generation
system is for hybrid vehicles, while the second-generation technology brings a
semi-transparent solar roof system to ICE vehicles. The third generation of the
technology will see the introduction of a lightweight solar roof for battery
The first-generation system,
which will be applied to hybrid models, is created out of a structure of
silicon solar panels that are integrated into a standard car roof. This system
is capable of charging 30 to 60 percent of the battery over the course of a
normal day, depending on weather conditions and other environmental factors.
semi-transparent solar roof will be applied to ICE vehicles, representing a world-first application for
the technology. The semi-transparent technologies can be integrated with a
panoramic sunroof, letting light through into the cabin, whilst charging the
vehicle’s battery at the same time. Applying solar charging systems to ICE
vehicles will help them comply with ever more stringent global environmental
laws regulating CO2 emissions.
The third-generation system,
is currently in testing. It is designed to be applied to the hood and roof of
eco-friendly battery electric vehicle models in order to maximize energy
How Hyundai Motor Group solar panel technology works
The solar charging system is
composed of a solar panel, a controller and a battery. As the panel absorbs
photons of light from the sun, it creates electron-hole pairs in silicon cells,
enabling current to flow and generating electricity.
When a 100W solar panel is
equipped, it can produce up to 100 Wh of energy (in ideal conditions: summer
noon, 1000 W/m2 intensity of radiation). The controller features Maximum Power
Point Tracking (MPPT), which controls voltage and current to increase the
efficiency of electricity harvested by the solar panel. This power is converted
and stored in the battery, or utilized to decrease load on the vehicle’s
alternating current (AC) generator, thereby increasing vehicle range.
Source: Hyundai Motor
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