(German article): Research finds solar can contribute around 25% of range on average in the summer for transporters with significant roof space

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7 thoughts on “(German article): Research finds solar can contribute around 25% of range on average in the summer for transporters with significant roof space”
  1. That sounds like a no brainer going by the title.

    Anybody German provide some details?

  2. I think that’s the third time it’s been posted. I guess people need a very descriptive title though for lack of bothering to actually read anything.

  3. deepl.com translation:

    Electric truck with solar system – Sunny type

    Electric light trucks with large box bodies are predestined for the use of solar panels. As a test vehicle in Hameln shows, these can contribute a significant portion of the traction current.

    SP-X/Hameln. Schlicht Street is the name of a research project coordinated by the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), in which the benefits of solar cells on electric cars are being researched. The research object is the Streetscooter Work L van, which, with its large box body, is particularly well suited for relatively simple mounting of non-arched solar modules. The luggage compartment was clad with 15 square meters of solar cells. They provide an output of 2,180 Wp (watts peak). The road-legal vehicle is thus expected to generate traction current for around 5,000 kilometers per year in the region of northern Germany.

    According to Robby Peibst, coordinator of the Street project, the particular challenge in setting up the test vehicle was not mounting the PV cells but connecting them to the high-voltage system of the e-drive. While the solar cells generate electricity at 12 volts, the e-drive uses a 400-volt architecture. A correspondingly required voltage converter was contributed by research partner Vitesco.

    The traction battery itself has a capacity of 40 kWh. The PV yield can be about 10 kWh on peak days in summer, according to Peibst. On average, 7 kWh per day occurs in the summer. This is more of an “extra income,” but a significant one depending on the daily mileage, Peibst said. If the Streetscooter is driven 20,000 kilometers a year, a good 25 percent of the driving power in the Hanover area could be generated with sunlight. In Munich or in regions with even higher irradiation levels, the figure would be correspondingly higher. Since the solar technology also charges the traction battery while the vehicle is stationary, scenarios of almost self-sufficient use would also be conceivable. The scientists are currently collecting data in order to gain further insights into the use of solar cells in light commercial vehicles with electric drives.

  4. That solar generation will be completely wasted if the battery is full, and if the car is put in the shade somewhere. Not to mention the fact that black solar panels get hot as hell and will make the driver turn up the AC in the summer, pretty much eliminating generation (when solar is the most useful). People are better off spending that money on rooftop solar.

  5. Interesting. I wonder what the ROI looks like? Cost vs charging would probably be a long payoff. Using smaller batteries or allowing longer routes would probably be the best payoff.

  6. Would solar cells survive hail and so one though?

    I really like the idea but is it realistic to actually implement it IRL?

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