Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors plan to introduce solar charging on certain vehicles after 2019 to help meet global regulatory targets and improve vehicle efficiency, the South Korea-based automakers have announced.
The system would be embedded in the roof or the hood of the vehicle to support its main power source as a strategy for improving mileage and reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. The system could be used to charge battery-electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Hyundai Motor Group is developing three types of solar charging systems, including a first-generation silicon solar roof system, a second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system, and a third-generation lightweight solar lid on the vehicle's body.
Hyundai estimates that a 100-watt solar panel could produce 100 watts per hour of energy in 1 Sun standards (Summer noon, 1000 W/㎡ intensity of radiation). The generated power is converted to standard voltage bu a voltage controller and stored in the battery or used to lower loads from the vehicle's AC generator.