The new energy technologies and nanomaterials (Liten) branch of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission has developed a vehicle-integrated photovoltaic (VIPV) prototype kit that can be used in any rechargeable electric vehicle.

The kit is intended to be placed on the roof of a vehicle and directly supply the vehicle’s traction battery.

“According to our calculations, such a kit can increase the range of the demonstrator vehicle by 800 km per year and reduce the frequency of recharging by 14%, which is not to be underestimated in many uses,” said the scientists. . “By way of illustration – in France and according to the 2019 Personal Mobility Survey of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion – 35.7% of home-to-work trips are less than 5 km away.”

The prototype kit consists of a 145 W photovoltaic panel, a magnetic rear panel and an MPPT charge controller. It also includes a battery and a micro-inverter that can now be used to inject stored energy into the grid when the car is recharged. “Tested on a Renault Zoé model, the remote data feedback shows a possible gain of up to 4 kilometers per day when the days are very bright,” said the research institute.

Liten hopes to develop VIPV technology with the support of unknown related manufacturers. “At this stage of development, the kit does not allow the main battery to be directly powered, which is its ultimate goal,” it said. “The system is not intrusive to the vehicle so it can be adapted to all rechargeable models.”

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