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Smart Mobility: Electronics technology applied to smart mobility with low impact to the environment, Part 1

How it is possible to realize daily transportation on the road with low impact to the environment?

The e-trucks solution for long distance electric transportation is an answer to this question, because electric trucks don’t produce discharge gasses, hence will not pollute the air, plus it is a great advantage especially on large urban transportation routes.

However the autonomy of the e-truck is a priority for the success of this solution: to increase this parameter, a dynamic charging approach is under evaluation by the Siemens Company in many countries like California and Sweden (see Figure 1):

“A new dynamic charging approach was presented at EVS29 Canada by Patrik Akerman of Siemens.

Akerman favours the elegant, affordable solution of intermittent overhead catenary at a mere €2.2 million per kilometre for charging trucks on the move which means that they can still overtake … Siemens is already running trials of the system in Sweden and California.” (Source: EETimes Europe)

Figure 1

The overhead power lines charge an electric truck for long distance transportation (Source: techspot)

The overhead power lines charge an electric truck for long distance transportation (Source: techspot)

Electronics technology offers more options to extend the life of battery of an e-truck; for example, a good feature could be the integration of a solar cell array into the body of the e-truck to convert the solar energy in electric power, and the final effect is the recharging of the batteries of the truck. This option is more valuable if we consider that there is a progressive evolution of the technology of solar cells, one huge example is the two faced solar cell panel (see Figure 2):

“BSolar, however, recently announced that it has developed double-sided solar panels that produce 50% more power than conventional panels in vertical installations. It says that they are also more affordable than traditional double-sided panels.

According to the company, these monocrystalline panels” provide 10-30% higher energy per KWp installed in standard applications, and up to 50% in vertical installations, resulting in an equivalent cell efficiency of 21%-24% in standard applications and a total module power of 280-325 Watts for 60-cell modules .” (Source: CleanTechnica)

Figure 2

The 'bifacial' solar cell by the bSolar Company (Source: GIGAOM)

The “bifacial” solar cell by the bSolar Company (Source: GIGAOM)

In addition to the solar cells, electronics technology offers a large range of integrated solutions for the conversion and the management of solar energy (see Figure 3):

“Off-grid solar power systems often need to charge a battery, or array of battery cells, that provide continuous power to the load when solar energy is no longer present. Often cost sensitive, in order to optimize the size, cost and usable power of the storage elements, off-grid systems also require that the power point be maximized. However, this can be done by employing, lower power and less complex MCUs than grid-tied systems or by employing a simple fixed power point – often set at 76% of VOC. Loads such as LED lighting and motors may require additional power boosting and/or control.” (Source: Texas Instruments)

Figure 3

A Solar pump or fan block diagram by the Texas Instruments Company (Source: TI's Total Solution for Solar Energy Harvesting TI's Total Solution for Solar Energy Harvesting)

A Solar pump or fan block diagram by the Texas Instruments Company (Source: TI’s Total Solution for Solar Energy Harvesting TI's Total Solution for Solar Energy Harvesting)

In the second part of this blog series I will further describe the strengths and the potentials of the electronics technology as applied to the enhancement of solar cell efficiency integrated in smart e-vehicles. This is a promising example of the application of the electronics technology to environment preservation with a sustainable and a low impacting e-mobility design.

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