Ford forward thinking on practical PV

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.
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For more information click here

Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grass roots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (www.treethinker.org); a business converting previous pasture land into a rich permaculture farm growing produce for sale locally as well as providing education on organic and permaculture techniques. I deliver workshops on sustainable living, including building renewable energy technologies, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (www.etymologyotd.com).

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