A new solar roof technology might be implemented to Tesla’s Model 3. In November 2016, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, launched the idea that he might equip its new Model 3 with a new solar roof option. Now, his announcement of offering this type of car as an option seemed extremely optimistic. Some believe that taking care of an electric car and making sure it’s charged all the time and implementing such a complex technology, might be intriguing.
It is pretty difficult to use solar energy, being extremely unpractical considering the current stage of solar technology. Nevertheless, the roof of the new Model 3 would be big enough to feature a solar panel which would probably manage to offer you, as a driver, one or two more miles before recharging your car’s battery. The truth is that outfitting a car with a solar roof technology would make a fuss, but it wouldn’t be worth it.
Nevertheless, this week, Panasonic launched a new model of solar panel technology which was specially designed for vehicles. The new solar roof technology is called HITPhotovoltaic Module for Automobile. The new solar roof design is only available for the Toyota Prius PHV at the moment. However, this may change in a few years.
What is special about Panasonic’s work is that the new design is equipped with the new technology that allows the driver to charge the lithium-ion batteries. This type of batteries is also found in Tesla’s Model 3. The solar cells developed by Panasonic have a unique structure because it mixes between an amorphous silicon film and a crystalline silicon substrate.
What is more, the newly developed technology also features extraordinary temperature characteristics and high conversion efficiency. The traditional automotive solar cells can generate tens of watts, being used only for the auxiliary charging of 12 V batteries. Moreover, it is also used for ventilation power sources only in case the car is parked.
Nevertheless, the new Panasonic solar cells permit the use of a high output estimated at 180 W in a limited space on the roof of a car, triggering the charging of the lithium-ion batteries and 12 V batteries. The outcome is a possible extension of the travel distance and also increasing the fuel economy.
Image courtesy of: flickr