More Efficient Solar Battery Panels
Japan – Toyota, together with Japanese national research organization NEDO and the Sharp Corporation, has recently begun road trials of a car equipped with solar batteries. The solar-powered Prius PHV, which only sells in Japan, has been fitted with newly designed solar battery panels on the roof, hood, and rear hatch door.
The panels are more efficient than existing commercial versions. They can convert solar energy at 34% efficiency, up from the 23% efficiency existing vehicles are capable of. Unlike in earlier versions, the new panels can charge the car’s driving battery while the vehicle is in use, extending the driving range between charges by up to 28 miles.
The solar battery cell consists of a thin film, measuring just 0.001 inches. The film can be fitted to the curves of parts with limited space.