TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF MORE COST-ADVANTAGEOUS PHOTOCELLS (PARTICULARLY THIN-FILM CELLS) ARE WELL KNOWN IN PRINCIPLES AND ARE UNDERGOING RAPID FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.THEIR USE IN VEHICLES HAS SO FAR ONLY BEEN TRIED IN A FEW SIMPLE SPECIAL APPLICATIONS (SOLAR FAN FOR VENTILATION WHEN STATIONARY,BATTERY TRICKLE CHARGING) AS WELL AS FOR THE ULTIMATELY UTOPIAN DIRECT PROPULSION OF VEHICLES.THERE HAVE BEEN NO INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE INTEGRATION OF PHOTOCELLS INTO THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM OF A LARGELY CONVENTIONAL PASSENGER CAR.
Tests and investigations have shown that solar current can already be put to economical use for various applications in motor vehicles. Given the decreasing price of solar cells, due to constantly improving efficiency and reduced production costs, use of solar current will become even more widespread in vehicles, particularly in view of the increased output being provided by new efficient manufacturing machinery. Depending on the vehicle concerned, the operating conditions and the amount of solar radiation, fuel consumption in motor vehicles can be reduced by between 3 and 9% through the use of solar current.
A NUMBER OD DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES FOR THE APPLICATION OF P.V. PANELS TO THE CURVED BODY OF A VEHICLE HAD BEEN IDENTIFIED AND INVESTIGATED. SUNROOFS OR SLIDING ROOFS IN SIZES FOR PASSENGERS CARS (0.2 TO 0.3 M2) WITH CRYSTALLINE SOLAR CELLS CAN BE OBTAINED FROM SMALL SERIES PRODUCTION. SIMILAR SAMPLES WITH AMORPHOUS CELLS, DIRECTLY DEPOSITED ON CURVED GLASS SUBSTRATES ARE STILL IN DEVELOPMENT. TO COVER LARGE AREAS WITH AMORPHOUS P.V. PANELS, FLEXIBLE SOLAR MATS ON THIN STAINLESS STEEL SUBSTRATES ARE AVAILABLE.
FIRST SERIES OF EXPERIMENTS ON FUEL ECONOMY AND COMFORT IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH THE USE OF P.V. POWER WERE CONDUCTED. THE POTENTIAL FOR FUEL SAVING BY SUPPLYING THE ELECTRICAL NEED OF A VEHICLE FROM SOLAR BATTERY INSTEAD OF THE ALTERNATOR IS DISPLAYED. THE LOWER CURVE CORRESPONDS TO A VERY LOW LEVEL OF ELECHTRICITY CONSUMPTION, AND THE UPPER CURVE TO AN AVERAGE LEVEL. FIG
FIG. 3 FINALLY SHOWS THE POTENTIAL OF SOLAR VENTILATION FOR A CAR PARKED IN THE SUN. THE TEST WAS DONE IN A CLIMATIC CHAMBER WITH SUNLIGHT SIMULATION, WHICH UNDERESTIMATES THE EFFECT A LITTLE BECAUSE OF HIGHER SOLAR CELL TEMPERATURES. IT CAN BE STATET, THEREFORE, THAT SOLAR VENTILATION DECREASES THE LEVEL OF OVERHEATING OF A PARKED CAR BY AROUND 20 K.