Harnessing the sun’s power with a solar car roof

Hyundai has taken major steps to implement a solar roof charging system that will provide an eco-friendly solution to improve vehicle efficiency and provide additional electrical power. The option will be available on upcoming Sonata Hybrid models and then on other Hyundai cars thereafter.

The concept is intended to support the hybrid vehicle’s electrical propulsion source, then improving fuel efficiency and reducing the amount of CO2 being emitted. 

The solar roof system is comprised of silicon panels that are mounted to the car’s roof. Charging is reportedly able to continue while the car is in motion. The roof can charge the vehicle’s battery between 30 to 60 per cent per day. Hyundai is boasting that six hours of daily charging will translate into an increase in 1300km travelled per year.

The system produces electricity when solar energy activates the panel’s surface. The panel then converts the sun’s energy into power for the car’s battery and electrical propulsion. The roof requires a controller mechanism to complete this conversion. Currently, the supplemental energy added by the roof is somewhat limited, but Hyundai predicts that the efficiency and power delivery will increase with further development.

The next generation solar roof from Hyundai is predicted to be semi-transparent and will even be able to operate in conjunction with a sunroof. This second generation system will also operate to supplement electrical power in a car that only has an internal combustion engine. This version will require an additional battery to receive the roof’s charge. 

With the third generation solar system, Hyundai will be looking to increase surface area by adding panels to the bonnet as well as the roof. This development project includes an emphasis on lightweight materials that will further enhance eco-friendly efficiency.

Hyundai has fully embraced its mission to make transportation more green. The efficient harnessing of solar energy is not future tech, but rather an option that is available on cars that Hyundai is selling now. The first generation system will result in real-world data that will help Hyundai stay ahead in this area of development. This is sound marketing and development to keep up with increasing eco-focused regulation and the consumer taste for environmentally-friendly products and features.