Hyundai Motor Group is currently developing three diverse types of solar roofs for cars with fully electric hybrid engines and ICE engines respectively. Although rechargeable solar panels have been integrated in vehicles, including the Toyota Prius plug-in, this is the first time the technology is applied to an ICE-only car.
The first type, which should come next year, is hybrid. It can charge 30 to 60% of the battery for a day, according on the weather. The vehicle can then use this energy to decline engine use, thereby boosting the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The second is designed for vehicles only ICE and has a semitransparent sunroof that charges the battery of the vehicle. This system will be followed by a third system for fully electric vehicles, comprising solar panels on the roof and the hood to increase power generation.
All three types use silicon solar panels that can generate up to 100 W of electricity, which are powered by a controller to increase its efficiency before being transmitted to a battery.
It has not yet been confirmed that Hyundai and Kia vehicles will first be equipped with the technology or when they will be accessible in the UK.
“In the future, we plan to integrate many types of power generation technologies into our vehicles, the sunroof is the first of these technologies and means that cars will not inertly consume energy but will actively start producing it,” says vice president of the Executive President of Engineering and Design. Division of Hyundai Motor Group, Jeong Gil Park Further added, “This is an exciting development for us, designing a technology for vehicle owners to help them shift from energy use to energy production.”
The solar charging system comprises a solar panel, a battery, and a controller and when the panel absorbs the photons from sunlight, it makes openings of electrons in the silicon cells, allowing the flux to flow and generate electricity.