The novel solar charging system would just not charge a vehicle’s battery but also help improve mileage and reduce CO2 emissions by vehicle.
Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors have announced plans to introduce solar charging technology on selected Hyundai vehicles. The 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.
Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice President of Engineering Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group, who has developed this technology, stated, “In the future, various types of electricity generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles. This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy,” he added, “The paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer.”
Reportedly, the solar charging technology is being developed to support the vehicle’s main power source, which would improve the mileage and reduce CO2 emissions. The technology is been made such a way, so that it can charge batteries of not just eco-friendly vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles, but also of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, thereby improving fuel efficiency.
Hyundai to launch 3 different types of solar roof charging systems
According to reports, Hyundai Motor Group is developing three types of solar roof charging systems: The first-generation silicon solar roof system, the second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system, and the third-generation lightweight solar-lid on the vehicle’s body.
The first-generation solar roof system will be applied to hybrid models, it includes a structure of mass-produced silicon solar panels that are mounted on an ordinary roof. This system can charge 30 to 60 percent of the battery per day, depending on the weather condition and the environment.
The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system will be applied to vehicles with internal combustion engines, for the first time in the world. Differentiated from the first-generation system, the second-generation system provides transmissive panel options, also satisfying consumers who desire a sense of openness. The semi-transparent solar panels are applied to a panoramic sunroof, maintaining transparency whilst charging an electric vehicle’s battery or an additional battery mounted on an internal combustion engine vehicle.
The third-generation lightweight solar-lid system is currently in the process of pilot study for applying to eco-friendly vehicle models. It includes a structure that mounts solar panels on a bonnet and roof combined, in order to maximize energy output.
The solar charging system is composed of a solar panel, a controller, and a battery. The electricity is produced when solar energy from the sun touches the solar panel’s surface, which converts this by using photons of light from the sun and then creating the electron-hole pairs in silicon cells to generate solar electricity. Hyundai Motor Group has reported launching the first generation of this technology into its vehicles after 2019.