Solar Energy Technologies Office - RFI Challenges and Opportunities for Vehicle Photovoltaics.
Request for Information: Challenges and Opportunities for Vehicle Photovoltaics
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) are requesting information on technical and commercial challenges and opportunities for vehicle photovoltaic systems.
The term (field of) vehicle-integrated photovoltaics (VIPV) designates the mechanical, electrical and design-technical integration of photovoltaic modules into vehicles. The photovoltaic (PV) modules integrate seamlessly into the vehicle exterior and electric system architecture to supply power to on-board electric loads or batteries. VIPV modules serve dual functionality by generating electric energy while replacing other structural parts of the vehicle, like the roof, the hood, the doors, the windows, the windshield, the sunroof, or other glass components. In simpler cases, referred to as vehicle-added or attached PV (VAPV), more traditional individual PV modules are attached to the existing vehicle structure serving only the energy generation role. The first solar-powered car, the Sunmobile, was introduced in 1955 by General Motors, as a 15- inch-long model car. Over the years, solar vehicle prototypes have been part of various automotive races and competitions, resulting in continuous technological improvements. Currently, solar vehicles ― electric vehicles integrated with solar panels ― have started gaining traction and the global solar vehicle market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 36.4% from 2022 to 2030 (107,380 units by 2030). It is also reported that the global vehicle-integrated solar panels market is expected to witness a similar growth rate of 29% over the next seven years. The technical potential of VIPV in Germany is estimated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) to be at least 55 GWp.
August 22, 2022
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