Charging of an EV vehicle gives us an image of Tesla’s Supercharger or gas station-like centers where you go to top off the voltage. Audi is trying to change that image by implementing solar energy. It makes complete sense because the car is out all day long under the sun so why not harness this unlimited power. AltaDevices, a subsidiary of Hanergy that makes thin, flexible solar panels, is working with Audi to bring the power of solar to your car’s sunroof. The first prototype should be developed by the end of this year.
Integrating solar cells into an Audi “panoramic glass roof” is only the first step, says Alta. The future will see the entire car roof surface covered with cells that can supply non-essential systems like air-conditioning or seat heaters. Using the solar power in this way can leave more of the main electric fuel systems available to increase the range of your EV. “The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers. Together with Alta Devices and Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable,” said Audi’s Dr. Bernd Martens in a statement.
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants, and artificial photosynthesis. It is an important source of renewable energy and its technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and solar water heating to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light-dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.