Solar panel project extends range of electric commercial vehicles

April 08, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Solar panel project extends range of electric commercial vehicles
The Lade-PV project is to demonstrate the marketability of solar panel technology for applications in heavy goods traffic.

Over the next three years, not only individual components such as solar panel PV modules and power electronics will be developed for this project, but also a manufacturing and production concept that will enable an efficient supply chain between the industries involved. The practical implementation of the prototypes is to take place on an electric truck as a demonstration vehicle.

"On trucks, there is plenty of space in the best sunny position, and with electric propulsion, large batteries are also available - an ideal situation for using photovoltaics to gain valuable on-board energy and thus range, and that 100 percent renewable," explains Dr. Harry Wirth, Division Manager Photovoltaic Modules and Power Plants at Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg (Germany).

In the solar roof project, scientists at the lead Fraunhofer ISE are developing lightweight and robust PV modules for two applications: retrofitted on-roof mounting and full integration into the vehicle body. The requirements for the Vehicle Integrated PV (VIPV) modules are demanding: they should achieve a surface utilization factor of more than 90 %, be vibration-resistant, shear and bend resistant and easy to install. In addition, they should have a maximum additional weight of 2.6 kilograms per square meter.

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