Solar-powered tent keeps electric vehicles while parked

By SolarCars on March 7, 2013

v-tent-solar-charging-systemElectric vehicles and solar power go well together and a lot of owners of Evs also equip their houses with solar panels so they can charge their cars with electricity coming from a very eco-friendly source.

That is not always the case for every green car owner who charge up at home but it will be a great thing if your parking slot has a V-Tent.

The solar-powered tent is the concept of Hakan Gursu from Nobis, a Turkish design firm. The tent can protect your vehicle but at the same time charge your electric car. Looking at the picture, the tent looks odd but it comes with a lot of benefits.

One, the solar charging system keeps your electric vehicle truly a green vehicle. Remember if you park your vehicle out under the sun, your car’s interior will be very hot so the solar tent features some ventilation tubes underneath the solar panels. Aside from keeping your car under the shade, the tubes form a layer of insulation from the hot surface above. Another reflective layer adds to the protection of your vehicle.

The solar tent is also a good protection against theft since your vehicle will be within the framework of the tent that holds the solar panels above. The drawings show that the tent will require more space than your regular parking slot.

Drives will be able to access the charging system via their smartphone and make payment using a small stand that comes with the machine. There are light indicators to show if a solar tent is available, if the car is charged or if a vehicle is still charging.

The solar tent is still on the design stage but the concept is quite realistic. It looks very feasible especially in remote areas where you don’t have to pay 10 bars of gold for parking space.

If you own an electric car will you consider using a solar tent?

Topics: Electric Cars, Solar | No Comments »

Solar-to-EV Project in San Diego powers electric vehicles

By SolarCars on December 12, 2012

project_zooThe city of San Diego in partnership with Smart City recently launched its Solar-to-EV Project that makes use of a solar canopy to recharge electric vehicles at the parking lot of the San Diego Zoo. The main objectives of the collaboration are to lower the levels of greenhouse gases and position the city as a leader in clean energy movements.

The project is among the first of its kinds in the United States where solar power is harnessed to directly charge plug-in eco-friendly vehicles. The structure consists of 10 canopies that translates to 90kW of electricity. This amount is enough to power almost sixty homes and power up five electric vehicle charging stations. One of the stations is located at a nearby parking lot that is ADA-accessible.

The setup has a 100kW storage for the energy captured from the rays of the sun. The stored power is used to offset the needs for electricity on the power grid. When the battery is full, the extra energry is diverted to the main grid and benefits the surrounding locality.

This clean energy project can be likened to cupping out 189,216 lbs of CO2 from the earth’s atmosphere annually. It is also similar to around 2,788 trees planted yearly. If you look into the cut in greenhouse gas emissions, it will be equivalent to removing 21 vehicles on the road every year.

This solar charging technology aims to encourage owners of electric vehicles to visit the Balboa Park and the Zoo. It also promotes the benefit of green technology on the site and on the web. The educational tools will play a strong part in achieving the goals of the zoo to encourage people to use sustainable energy.

In case you are not fond of green technologies or if you are but do not own an electric vehicle yet, you can still go to the zoo and contribute to nature by helping the research foundation of the zoo dedicated to help pandas. The zoo is home to a new panda cub named Xiao Liwu.

Topics: Electric Cars, Solar Cars | No Comments »

Modern Living: Of electric cars and solar panels

By SolarCars on October 19, 2012

solar-rooftopElectric cars are a lot cheaper to operate compared to gasoline cars. That is a fact that a lot of people will accept, but you also need to remember that when you plug something into that outlet, you need to pay for the electricity you use. Just like how the price of gas behaves, electricity is also on an upward trend. Eventually, charging your car will somehow burn a big hole in your pocket.

What about using solar panels installed on the roof of your house to charge your vehicles?

Fitting solar panels to your roof will not be a cheap investment but an recently released online tool by WattPeople aims to push for their packages of electric cars and solar panels. The deal will try to clearly show how solar panels and an EV can save you some money compared to using gasoline cars.

The app also offers an annual financial breakdown of the spending involve for getting an electric vehicle and setting up solar panels at home. It also details financial scenarios which you may face if you take out a loan including monthly payments, interest rates, and cost of installation. It also forecasts possible savings in the future.

The app was actually designed to help Wattpeople with their specialist loans, it has enough functionality to give you an idea if you are thinking of a bank loan to finance your solar panels and electric vehicle.

Based on testimonies, owners of electric cars save a lot once the initial cash out for the solar panels and car have been recouped. The prices of solar panels are dropping while gas prices and electricity rates are rising. It is a really great time to look into electric cars and solar panels.

Topics: Electric Cars, Solar, Solar Cars | No Comments »

Car in Malaysia made of cans, runs on battery and solar energy

By SolarCars on July 17, 2012

You read it right, a group of students in Sepang, Malaysia made a car out of tin cans. The team used about 400 tins cans to make a car that can accommodate one occupant.

The car was built by students of the University Putra Malaysia and is among the more than 100 eco-friendly automobiles that joined that Eco Marathon Asia sponsored by Shell. According to a member of the team, their car has been driven on the road and was able to cover 200 kilometers in just a liter of fuel.

Except for its engine, the green car was crafted from reusable items including the windscreen and the headlamps. The goal of the project is for the vehicle to go very far in just a liter of gas. The team from UKM made a concept car that is powered by a battery and a solar energy. It took them eight months to build and cost them RM40,000.

The car makes use of eight solar panels and can run for about 20 kilometers when the battery is fully charged and when the sunlight is really good.

The Eco-Marathon Asia has been running for three years and challenges high school and college students to design and actually build fuel efficient cars. Around a thousand teams from 18 countries joined the event this year.

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Honda FCX Clarity sedan turned into generator with zero emissions

By SolarCars on April 25, 2012

Honda has linked to their fuel cell EV FCX Clarity some electrical outlets, and also built a hydrogen fueling setup powered by solar energy. This turns the FX Clarity to a 0 emission generator running on solar power and water.

Cars running on hydrogen fuel cells might not be getting as much attention as they deserve compared to battery electric cousins, but it does not mean that Honda stopped working on their FCX Clarity. Roughly four years after it was unveiled, the carmaker modified the FCX Clarity to have a box of outlets that allows the car to be a 9 kilowatt generator.

Honda also built a hydrogen fueling station in Saitama, Japan which makes hyrdogen from water and the sun’s energy. It is a test facility which if it yields good results will allow the FCX Clarity to drive with zero emissions or serve as a generator.

While hydrogen fueling stations commonly depend on hydrogen that has been reformed as natural gas somewhere, the one in Saitama makes use of water electrolysis in a high pressure system to make hydrogen. The electricity being used by the system comes from a mix of solar power and electricity drawn from the grid which in combo can make 1.5 kilos of hydrogen in 24 hours. The produced hydrogen per day can give the FCX Clarity a range of 90 miles.

After the tsunami devastation last year and the resulting nuclear accident at Fukushima, a good number of Japanese car manufacturers have been using their electric vehicles as portable generators. The FCX Clarity might be the first car running on hydrogen to serve as a generator but it just follows the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi MiEV which was earlier turned into a turn to power box on wheels.

Honda did not release a lot of details about the project which started its test run last month. At the moment, the FCX Clarity only acts as an emergency power supply but it should not be surprising if we will see it linked to a setup of smart grid where the plug in vehicles will act as back up power supplies during moments of high power demand.

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Classic 2000GT by Toyota reborn as Solar EV [with video]

By SolarCars on January 27, 2012

During the recent Future Car Challenge in Britain, all praises were for the E Type Jaguar which was rid of the straight six powerplant and loaded with an electric motor running on lithium ion battery pack.

Now another beautiful classic, the 2000GT coupe of Japanese carmaker Toyota was reborn thru what is called the Crazy Car Project turning the the 1967 ride into a solar powered electric vehicle.

Like its Jaguar counterpart, the 2000GT’s engine bay was dissected to take out its 2.0L inline six engine and replace it with a 35 kWh battery pack of lithium ion powering a 161 bhp or 120kW electric motor that transfers all its power to the rear wheels.

To prevent the battery pack’s juices running out, the bonnet of a car now houses a really big solar panel while solar cells have also been integrated to the windscreen at the rear of the car.

The sound of the original GT2000 engine is sent to the cabin of the vehicle to keep as much possible that character of the car. It’s top speed goes up to around 200 kilometers per hour.

The cabin of the ride was also improved with the original instruments supplemented with the battery gauge, bio-fiber carpets, and a rear view mirror that also serves as your digital info screen.

The project was done by an auto fan club which has some engineers from Toyota itself. Did they get paid for the work, we do not know.

The Solar EV 2000GT was shocased during the Toyota Auto Salon which is the biggest show for customized cars.

You can enjoy a video of the 2000GT Solar EV below , see how the car runs and learn what the makers went thru in producing it:

Topics: Solar, Solar Cars, Toyota | No Comments »

Webasto and and Konarka Technologies teaming up to use organic solar roofing on cars

By SolarCars on October 25, 2011

Solar Powered CarsKonarka Technologies developers of the innovative organic flexible solar films is working with Webasto, a leading supplier in the automotive industry to bring solar roofs to cars. The announcement was made during a trade fair centered on electric mobility in Munich.

Webasto produces roof systems for automobiles and is among the movers in providing innovative roofs for vehicles. The company has been doing functional solar roofs over the last two decades. With the growing demand for hybrid vehicles and eventually electric cars, the work of Webasto is becoming more important as they plan to integrate the solar panels from Konarka to their car roofing.

The goal of the collaboration is to make the solar panels more efficient so they will be suitable to be used on vehicles.

Organic solar cells are made of flexible, non-toxic, unbreakable, and recyclable materials. Today the efficiency of the organic solar cells are at 8.4% and holding weak light better compared with other available technologies. The solar cells can be printed to produce various widths and lengths for different applications.

The Power Plastic of Konarka is available in different colors and sizes giving end users the design freedom like integrating other applications and other technologies.

Topics: Solar Cars | No Comments »

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