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Solar-powered PHV Prototyped for Use in Urban Areas

2019/07/17 17:48
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Solar cells mounted in accordance with the curved shapes of the roof, hood, back door, etc (source: Nikkei BP)
It employed a triple-junction compound solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 34% or higher. (source: Nikkei BP)
The cells were attached on a transparent plastic substrate. (source: Nikkei BP)

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) exhibited a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) at PV2019 Photovoltaic Solar Exhibition & Forum, a trade show that took place from July 10 to 12, 2019, at Pacifico Yokohama (Yokohama City).

The PHV was developed by NEDO, Sharp Corp and Toyota Motor Corp for a verification test. Sharp modularized a high-efficiency solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 34% or higher for automotive use. Toyota equipped the auto body of its "Prius HEV" with about 860W of the modules. The vehicles is scheduled to be tested on public roads from late July 2019.

According to NEDO's estimates, if the rechargeable battery of the prototyped vehicle is charged with electricity generated with the solar cells for about 24 hours on a clear day, it can travel 40-50km (approx 24.9-31.1 miles) on electricity. If it is driven in an urban area on a daily basis, it can be powered only with electricity generated with the solar cells.

The solar cell is a triple-junction compound solar cell that (1) has a tandem (three-layered) structure using indium gallium phosphide (InGaP), gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs), etc and (2) realizes a high efficiency by converting a wide wavelength range of sunlight.