Ford’s new abstraction for solar-powered amalgam car can run for 21 electric-only afar on a day’s account of sunlight. That achievability comes address of sun-tracking software that works in aggregate with a concentrator lens to focus the sunlight falling on the car’s rooftop solar panels.
The C-MAX Solar Energi Abstraction car—a adapted C-MAX constituent hybrid—won’t accomplish the dream of active always on sunshine aloof yet. But Ford’s able use of a apperception lens does accommodate an clue of new achievement for solar ability to anytime become applicable in amalgam or all-electric vehicles. Until now, solar power’s activity body botheration has bound its use in bartering cartage to not abundant above a symbolic rooftop solar console that runs a cooling fan for Toyota’s Prius amalgam car.
Ford envisions its abstraction car parking below a alpine barn with a roof fabricated of a Fresnel lens—a lens originally developed for lighthouses that acts agnate to a accumulative glass. The car aggregation enlisted the advice of Georgia Institute of Technology advisers to appear up with the carport’s sunlight-concentrating design.
The car’s software would clue the sun’s aisle beyond the sky on any accustomed day of the year and absolute the car to move below the barn so that it always receives the abounding appulse of concentrated sunlight, according to Technology Review. That atypical abstraction eliminates the allegation for an big-ticket tracking arrangement that would change the bend of the carport’s lens to accumulate sunlight focused on an anchored car’s rooftop solar panels. (The abstraction car additionally has a acceptable charging anchorage so that it can bung into the ability filigree if needed.)
Such concentrated sunlight could ability 8 times the bulk of sunshine that would about abatement on the C-MAX Solar Energi’s rooftop. A day’s account of charging in the sun—about 8 application over four hours—would go into the lithium-ion array that provides the 21 electric-only afar in the car’s absolute ambit of 620 miles. Ford estimates advance the C-MAX Solar Energi Abstraction would accept the aforementioned absolute ambit on a abounding allegation as compared to the accepted C-MAX Energi.
The U.S. automaker has big affairs for its abstraction car afterward a admission at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, 7-10 January in Las Vegas. Ford will assignment with Georgia Tech to activate testing the agent in “real-world scenarios” and see whether its abstraction can prove applied in accustomed life—a claiming that may yet affectation some headaches. For instance, Toyota’s engineers ahead begin that abutting rooftop solar panels to the array of a Prius created an antenna-like aftereffect that interfered with the car’s radio.
Most car companies accept acclimatized for hardly beneath aggressive goals involving the use of solar power. Tesla Motors has autonomous for solar-powered charging stations that accumulate the solar panels off the roofs of its glassy vehicles.
Still, the allowances of a solar amalgam agent could prove advantageous in the continued run. Ford says its centralized abstracts already suggests sunlight could ability up to 75 percent of the trips fabricated by an boilerplate disciplinarian in a solar amalgam vehicle. And the C-MAX Solar Energi could additionally carve greenhouse gas emissions from archetypal U.S. car owners by as abundant as four metric bags per year—about what a U.S. domiciliary produces in four months.
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