Tesla to introduce solar roof as an option in Model 3.
Everybody took it just a floating idea when Elon Musk affirmed that he might offer a solar roof for Model 3.
The concept seemed technically flawed as a small roof might not give a solar support sufficient for more than a mile or two a day. Similarly, embarking on such an ambitious expedition in such a critical stage of Model 3’s development would potentially be inappropriate.
However, if judged critically, the CEO seemed pretty much optimistic. He had some background analysis behind his seemingly absurd idea.
And it became true, when Panasonic introduced a new solar panel technology that is specifically aimed for cars.
Reportedly, the technology, termed as “HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobile”, has currently been introduced to Toyota Prius PHV only. However, it is hoped other technologies too will house it in the near future.
Tesla could in this regard be more appropriate aspirant, as its cars use lithium-ion batteries, for which the solar panel has been exclusively designed.
Panasonic Solar Panels
These panels provide an approximate of 180 W output, converted from heat energy; received via a small roof of an automotive. This power is sufficient to charge a lithium-ion battery, which is resultantly helpful for less fuel consumption. On the other hand, traditional solar cells charge up to several tens of Watts that could hardly be used for charging 12 V batteries.
Although, indicators are good, it must be bear in mind that the project has yet to deliver maximum proficiency. It will take time to become an indispensable part of automotive industry.
At present, a parked car, powered by solar panel, can be pushed not more than just three or four miles a day. Likewise, it would take Toyota Prius almost a week to get its battery solar charged from empty to full.
Therefore, we need to be patient, as this technology would take considerable time to become active.