Design, Analysis, and Electrification of a Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Windsor, ON N9B 1K3, Canada

Abstract

Nowadays, the automobile industry is moving towards hybridized and fully electric vehicles. The industry has been slowly moving towards this future from decades. Firstly, hybrid and semi-hybrid cars became famous, and now due to the advancements in battery technology, fully electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. Due to the car manufacturers designations, the electric cars have reached the stage of mass production. Many countries such as the U.S., Germany, and France have pledged to reduce the usage of gasoline and diesel cars, and increase the use of electric vehicles due to the diminishing non-renewable resources. In this paper, electrification of an electric vehicle has been performed, in which the solar energy has been used along with the traditional plug-in energy to power the vehicle. The solar energy absorbed from the sun by the solar panel is converted into chemical energy, and stored in batteries. Therefore, the solar-powered electric car can work with an electric motor instead of an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to drive the car. Also, the motor can run on AC current which is converted by the inverter from DC current stored in batteries. To drive the car in electric mode, a 360 V Li-polymer battery pack with 100 kWh energy capacity has been proposed to install in the car. Thus, the approach of transforming solar energy into chemical energy, and converting chemical energy to mechanical energy have been applied in this solar-powered electric car. Moreover, the functionality of off-road driving, as well as on-road has been considered. In order to increase/decrease the ground clearance of the car, equipping the car with air suspension system has been investigated.

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