Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Fraunhofer vehicle integrated solar
Credit: Fraunhofer ISE https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/business-areas/photovoltaics/photovoltaic-modules-and-power-plants/integrated-photovoltaics/vehicle-integrated-photovoltaics/vehicle-integrated-trucks.html

Clean Power

Fraunhofer ISE Testing Vehicle-Integrated Solar Systems

Fraunhofer ISE is conducting a three-year research program designed to test how solar panels can be integrated with heavy duty trucks.

Fraunhofer ISE is partnering with the Fraunhofer Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems and four trucking companies to develop vehicle-integrated solar systems that can help reduce carbon emissions from the transport industry. As part of the research, Fraunhofer ISE has equipped several trucks with sensors that record how much solar energy they are exposed to in real world use.

Fraunhofer vehicle-integrated solar

Image credit: Fraunhofer ISE

That research suggests for each square meter of surface area, 150 kWh of electricity can be generated each year. Translate that to the surface area of a typical cargo trailer — about 32 square meters — and the result is enough electricity to power an electric vehicle a distance of 5,000 kilometers or more a year.

Integrated solar for vehicles presents some challenges, particularly keeping the weight of such systems low to avoid reducing payload significantly. The target weight for commercial vehicles is no more than 2.2 kilograms per square meter. In addition, the systems must be robust enough to withstand the constant pounding trucks experience during normal use. The benefits of integrated solar include powering refrigeration units that normally use diesel generators and a potential auxiliary power source for electric delivery vans.

Over the next three years, the research teams and their commercial partners will design and test vehicle integrated solar modules for electric cars and heavy duty vehicles, with an emphasis on solar modules and power electronics, as well as manufacturing techniques for PV applications. Using an existing production line from German manufacturer Sunset Energietechnik, they will develop the manufacturing techniques needed to produce lightweight solar modules.

“We want to develop the technology, while also demonstrating that trucks can use onboard PV to meet over 5% of their energy demand,” Christoph Kutter, project manager at Fraunhofer ISE, tells PV Magazine. “Calculations show that 4,000 to 6,000 kilometers of additional driving range per year are possible.” And so, step by step, the renewable energy and electric vehicle revolutions are moving forward, each one supporting the other in replacing fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

The New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist describes the importance of the Inflation Reduction Act, with its $369 billion for decarbonization.

Cap And Trade

The narrative that Americans and many Europeans share about China and themselves is not aligned with observable reality, and the USA is in significant...

Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that outright cuts to consumer demand are needed to reduce carbon emissions, and that recent perspective has...

Agriculture

Higher beef prices are becoming a reality for meat eaters in the US as ranchers are reducing their cattle herds due to drought and...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.