Hy Solar Kit

Why is it worth converting a conventional car into a hybrid solar vehicle

The proposed hybridizing equipment for conventional cars will impact both fuel consumption and related CO2 emissions. Moreover, it will have a significant impact also from an economical point of view, as explained in the following:

  • it is worldwide accepted within the industrial and academic research communities that the most promising technology for a real, short-term and significant reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is represented by hybrid electric vehicles;
  • the integration of hybrid vehicles with the solar energy, through on-board photovoltaic panels, can provide an important contribution to reducing both fuel consumption and emissions: during sunny days, photovoltaic energy can contribute up to 30-40% of the overall energy requested for vehicle traction, when vehicles are used for approximately one or two hours per day in urban areas (some recent statistics confirm that the majority of car users do not drive for longer time);
  • despite their unambiguous benefits from both environmental and energetic point of views, hybrid vehicles, though largely present in the international market, do not have yet gained sufficient appealing for the customers, thus this technology has not yet been able to produce a significant impact on fuel consumption and CO2 emission reduction; hybrid solar vehicles are currently produced only as prototypes (the authors themselves developed a prototype of such vehicle type within an EU-funded project: www.dimec.unisa.it/Leonardo) and their real impact into the market can be fairly evaluated only on a medium-term time;
  • several recent studies on Mild-Hybrid show that, by means of a suitable design, such vehicles can provide energetic efficiency comparable with those obtainable with full-hybrid solutions (e.g. Toyota Prius); the addition of a photovoltaic panel of advanced features may result in even better results, in particular for cars moving in urban areas and for short-distance transfers;
  • photovoltaic costs are constantly decreasing, whereas, thanks to the continuous research efforts, electrical efficiencies are growing;
  • energy density, costs and size of batteries are under continuous improvement, due to the key role played by such devices in both hybrid and electric vehicles;
  • the market of in-wheel motors is currently growing thanks to the technological tie with hybrid as well as special vehicles;
  • the possibility to have as set of equipments, and in perspective also an after-market kit, able to transform a traditional vehicle into a mild-solar-hybrid will ensure a relevant impact on the general energetic consumption, because of the large number of cars present on that segment; moreover such result can be achieved without introducing expensive modifications on the cars production lines and without the substitutions of cars already circulating on the roads, the latter aspect being of particular relevance with respect to the current worldwide economical crisis.

Although the main benefits are related to the energetic/environmental field, the following further improvements could reasonably be attained through car hybridization:

  • by using the fast dynamic start-up of the electric motors, it is possible to obtain good acceleration performance for the vehicle, also in the urban traffic;
  • the reliability of the vehicle is increased in different scenarios, e.g. in the presence of faults of one of the propulsion sources and for possible fuel exhaustion;
  • opportunity of collecting data to monitor real-world performance of engine and vehicle, thus enabling the adoption of predictive maintenance strategies.