I’ve never been on board with PV, it’s too reliant on something that’s in such short supply here in the UK – clear skies and direct Sunlight. But Ford have came up with a nifty idea for maximising the use of the available Sun’s rays and they’ve been showing it off at this year’s CES (consumer electronic show) in Las Vegas.
Traditionally, to get enough power to be viable for running a car you need a system which uses a car port – with it’s wider area and ability to track the Sun in the sky but such systems, with their sensors and motors are expensive. Ford’s idea is to use a Fresnel lens in the car port to focus the Sun’s rays onto solar panels on the roof of the car, and to have the car move to track the focussed rays. Not only is this cheaper but it also means that when you drive out of the car port there’s still a small amount of electricity being aquired. The concept (titled ‘enegi’) is being triall ed on a Ford C Max and the system will give the vehicle enough charge for 21 miles of travel (more than most people’s daily commute) in about 6 hours of charging.