TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Ford c-max solar energy concept

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Tasdevil, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Tasdevil

    Tasdevil Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    Tasmania
  2. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Location:
    Harrison Ohio
    620 miles range is no problem when you have a large gas tank and ICE like the C-Max Energi does.

    If the solar panel could add 10-20 miles of EV range in a day while the car sits in the parking lot while you work, it may be worth while, but if it adds 1-2 miles like the Karma's panel would, it is not worth the cost or weight. The car would most likely be better served by simply putting a bigger battery into it, as that would result in more EV miles at a lower price.
     
  3. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    Very interesting concept. The video (at 1:20) mentions its to be used with a Fresnel lens canopy while parked (the car moving slightly throughout the day to keep the light focused).

    energilens.png
     
  4. roblab

    roblab Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,025
    Location:
    Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
    A panel of the size on the C-MAX only recoups about 2-3 miles of range. What no one has seemed to read at this point is, that the car must sit under a canopy of fresnel lenses to concentrate the size of the solar insolation footprint to the size of the car roof. This is the ONLY reason the car can charge with more power than an ordinary solar panel. No laws of physics being broken, just people who don't understand physics and don't want to learn, repeating parts of what someone else has said.

    Obviously, having to park under a canopy wipes out any benefit of "going on long trips", as hinted in the article. You ain't takin' the canopy with you. At that point, you recoup the standard 2-3 miles per day of solar panel power.

    And adding a panel to ANY car is simply an exercise in styling. It does not do enough to justify the cost. You have to park in the sun. You have to have the sun nearly straight overhead, as that is where the panels are pointed. It does not work at night or on cloudy days. All it will power would be a vent fan to cool the car interior with ambient air.

    And imagine if you typically are not good at parking! The concentrating fresnel lens (Magnifying glass) can now make your car REALLY hot! This might be Darwinian justice to some people who can't seem to get a car lined up in a parking lot!

    OK, Aaron0k beat me to it. But who moves the car throughout the day???
     
  5. DuncanWatson

    DuncanWatson Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I really like the Fresnel lens combined with the panels. That is a cool concept, lucky for me my driveway is oriented on an E/W axis. I am curious on the cost of the canopy. Ford says it is an acrylic and inexpensive, if so I could imagine getting some of these at my office. It looks like they are doing so good research over there at Ford. I like that.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,851
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm with roblab... that's a dumb idea. Put the solar cells on the garage, not the car.
     
  7. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    I suspect the car is equipped with the ability to gradually move itself in sync with the focal light of the lens.
     
  8. GlennAlanBerry

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    I would argue that having 300-400 watts of potential solar PV output from roof panels on a Model S is probably a better use of the roof space than a pano roof.

    On the other hand, my Model S spends most of its parked time in my garage, and I am not likely to park it in the sun just to get a small amount of charge. I could see a use case where it could make some sense if you were forced to park for a long trip in an outdoor lot at an airport, with no access to a 120V circuit to keep up with vampire losses.
     
  9. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    You're much better off just having standard solar panels feeding back into the grid so that you are getting power from them all the time, not just when you are home parked under the canopy.
     
  10. aaron0k

    aaron0k Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    One could also consider it a 'wireless' charging bay.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Want to see what happens to the bug that crawls across the roof? Poof!
     
  12. muleferg

    muleferg Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    742
    Location:
    North Wilkesboro, NC
    I bet it would light up a lightning bug all night long.
     
  13. DuncanWatson

    DuncanWatson Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    This actually looks like an easier way to charge a car while at work. Setting up some canopies in the far parts of the parking lot for charging a few solar cmaxs looks easier than getting prime parking with L2 charging.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,851
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I suspect that aligning the panel with the Fresnel lens will be challenging, especially considering that the car will not be positioned consistently and the sun angle is constantly changing. The panel will require a tip/tilt assembly and some way of aligning with the car. Sounds totally impractical given the amount of energy produced. Plus you'll have to route AC power to the Fresnel lens assembly for the computer, sensors, and actuators... in which case, as aaron0k suggested, wireless charging makes a heck of a lot more sense.
     
  15. DuncanWatson

    DuncanWatson Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    That is a good point. If the canopy requires AC power then my perceived main advantage is gone.
     
  16. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,896
    Location:
    PA
    On top of all of that, the car would have to move in an arc. There are much better ways to capture the suns energy.
     
  17. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    New York
    Yep. This kills the concept. It would be easier to have large standard solar panel and plug it into the battery to charge and into the grid to run when the car is away.

    Not to mention that most people's car spends the day out and about, often at work, and is only at home the evening and night, where solar energy isn't powering much.

    If it doesn't provide enough energy to be worth it when you are driving or when you are parked out in the open, it probably shouldn't be on the car.
     
  18. constraint

    constraint Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I know the point of this is to try and sell the car, but really just put the 300 watts of solar panels on the collector and wireless charge the battery. You dont have to move the car, you just move the small solar panel (or get a bigger panel).

    We can call this the off grid charger where companies dont have to worry about running buried cables out to their employee parking lots.
     
  19. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,918
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19 RobStark, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  20. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UTAH USA
    In some science class many years ago, we burned right thru phone books (remember those?) and anything else that would fit in the rig under a fresnel lens about 14" in diameter. What would one 6 or 7 FEET in diameter do? TEG? calling TEG
     

Share This Page