Energy & Sustainability
Solar Prius kit

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These kits from SEV (Solar Electric Vehicles) can boost your fuel efficiency from 17 to 29%… –

The major automobile manufacturers are producing hybrid automobiles, which are part electric and part gasoline powered. Could these automobiles take another step and obtain some of their fuel from the sun?

Solar Electrical Vehicles has developed a prototype PV Prius to help answer that question. The PV Prius is fitted with a custom molded fiberglass photovoltaic module as shown in Figure 1. Solar Electrical Vehicles has applied for a patent on the PV Prius solar system.

The photovoltaic module is rated at 215 watts at AM 1.5. The module is connected to a DC-DC converter and peak power tracker. The output of the converter is directly connected to the primary motive NiMh battery.

The daily power production available for charging the Prius primary motive battery is estimated to be between 850 and 1,300 watt-hours. The car uses 150-175 watt-hours per mile. Thus, the expected range per day that the PV Prius would have on solar power alone would be between 5 and 8 miles. Based upon a nominal daily trip length of 28 miles the gasoline consumption of the PV Prius would be reduced by 17% to 29%.

Solar Electrical Vehicles – Articles – [via] Link.

20 thoughts on “Solar Prius kit

  1. 150 – 175 watt-hours/mile? At 45 mph and 100% efficiency that means that the motor only generates 9 – 10.5 hp. For a more realistic system (efficiency

  2. Prius solar kit makes perfect sense for daytime driving. Incorporate it with an exhaust fan or cooler to keep the cabin from getting blazing hot during the day.

    brentquebman.com

  3. Why stop at the roof? Why not convert the bonnet(hood) as well? It looks like it’s about half the size of the roof so that’d be a 50% increase in solar assistance.

  4. Madscott: It doesn’t mean the motor output is only 10hp, it means that the high hp the motor generates for short periods to accelerate the car, averaged with the longer periods of low hp needed to merely overcome friction and keep the car moving once it has already been accelerated up to speed, averages out at 10hp. Which seems about right to me for a car equipped with regenerative braking. Depends on the driving conditions of course.

  5. Solar Electrical Vehicles has applied for a patent on the PV Prius solar system.

    Is there really anything ingenious in this system that would not obvious to someone reasonable competence in the field of adding solar panels to hybrids? People have been tinkering (successfully) with adding solar roofs to hybrids for some time now. I hope their patent does actually involve something clever, or it’s just more abuse of the system.

  6. 5-8 miles a day would mean I could commute to work every day and not have to buy any gas at all! That would be pretty cool, except I’m an area that usually gets less than optimum sun, so it wouldn’t achieve that performance. I’d have to add panels to the hood :-)

  7. Why not put panel on the top of the dashboard, it is always blazing hot even in the winter and while moving, we waste more energy trying to cool the inside of the car then we harness….

  8. I think the problem is that, because of the 45-60% recharging cycle limits on a Prius (to extend battery life to 200k miles), the battery is only good for 1-2 miles of travel. So I’m sad to say, that I don’t think the solar cells could be used to power you commute to work every day !!

    You’d have to add a second battery to make it work …

  9. This plug-in Hybrid system would be perfect with this solar system , Plughybrid.de. It ads an extra battery for more power. In practice you need about 4500W to drive a Prius around town for a 8 miles at one go.

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