Much more than a “sunroof”
Thursday, 5 de October de 2017
FCA completes innovative research for solar energy use in vehicles
Remember the Girassol Project, which we presented last year right here? This is a research from FCA’s Innovation Center in partnership with CSEM Brazil, which uses low-cost photovoltaic cells as a new source of electric energy in cars. In addition to alleviating the vehicle’s alternator, the technique reduces fuel consumption (since the electric power in cars comes from the turning engine) and, as a result, it also reduces emissions of pollutant gases, preserving the planet and generating savings for both you and the automaker (via carbon credits).
Led by engineer Toshizaemom Noce – better known as “Toshi” – the research analyzed the measurements of 30 vehicles of various models (of those camouflaged you see around) for little more than a year. “We needed the measurements to last a full year in order to take into account the entire solar trajectory,” explains Toshi. Researchers already suspected that sunshine was greater in Brazil than in Europe, but now, with the conclusion of the research, we have figures to quantify this difference.
The European energy conversion average (from solar to electric) per square meter is 120W. In the USA, it is 173W. “Our research has shown that in Brazil this average is 205W,” reports Toshi. That is, Brazil has 70% more insolation than Europe. But this is not the only relevant fact. “The shadowing in Europe is 50%, which means that half of the energy captured by the cells is lost in the shade.In Brazil, the angle of incidence of sun rays is more vertical, which generates less shade.We only measured 25% shading “. This means that the losses of solar energy generation in Brazil are half of the European reference.
What the combination of these numbers reveals is that Brazilian geography is more than twice as advantageous as European geography for the use of solar energy in vehicles. It is a very expressive number, which proves the Brazilian vocation for the cleanest energy of all. Another Brazilian natural wealth!
Let it be known that there is still a third piece of data to be considered. “Because of the characteristic of our traffic, the average fuel consumption is higher in Brazil than in Europe, even though the level of engine technology is the same,” Toshi explains, according to data collected in the study. This disadvantage, however, means that, with the use of solar energy, the economy would be even more significant, coupled with the reduction of pollutants. And that’s just the beginning.
At this time, the research data is being organized and prepared for publication. Thus, the results will be available for consideration in future plans. “We have no plans for the implementation yet,” Toshi explains. “The publication of the survey means that we now know how much technology it will generate in terms of savings, how much it will cost to implement it, etc. Now the responsible areas will be able to use this information to innovate in the future,” he concludes.
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