Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept Promises To Power Batteries With Solar Panels On Roof
|   Saturday, January 04, 2014
The areas where the charging infrastructure of electric cars is not very developed may turn to an alternative solution for charging the batteries of electric and hybrid cars: solar panels on the roof of the cars. This idea was developed by Ford and the Georgia Institute of Technology, on the C-Max Solar Energi concept.

To solve problems related to the autonomy of the electric cars, the main headache of the customers, of this type of cars, Ford is looking to alternative solutions to ensure the energy needed to operate the electric motors.
At Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a Las Vegas event dedicated to all lovers of technology, which will open its doors on January 6, Ford brings the concept car dubbed C-Max Solar Energi, which has an interesting solution in terms of capturing solar energy via panels arranged on the roof of the car.

Because there is a technical constraint regarding the solar panels solution (they need time to absorb this energy to fill the batteries) Ford's engineers have knocked on the doors of researchers from SunPower and the Georgia Institute of Technology, who came with an interesting solution.
"While solar panels have been making strides in terms of efficiency, even if we put them on the hood, you still couldn't recharge the battery enough," said Mike Tinskey.

So to compensate that issue, bright minds came up with this idea: a windowed area, placed over the panels, which works like a magnifying glass which increases sunlight power. Ford says that one day spent under sunlight is equivalent to four hours of normal load through an electrical outlet (8 kW). However the Americans say that preliminary tests showed that solar power can provide up to 75 percent of the total normal consumption, which would help in areas where there are no electrical outlets or electricity is very expensive. Obviously, to compensate for cloudy days, the car is provided with a plug to power up.

There are some other interesting numbers. Because the powertrain under the hood of C-Max Solar Energi Concept is a hybrid, the total autonomy which Ford announced for its concept, is 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), the same value as displayed by the "series" version of C-Max Energi already available in the US, and provided with classic metal panels ceiling. In addition, the driver has the possibility to run for 30 kilometers (21 miles) in full-electric mode.

"Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy," said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. "As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future."

After the official presentation at CES, the new battery power system will be tested in real life by the Ford, and Georgia Institute of Technology, the test result proving if the solution is feasible on the series production models.
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