Wonderful Engineering

This Solar Battery Charger For Vehicles Follows The Sun Like A Sunflower

According to a report, the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to increase from a record 1.1 million worldwide in 2017 to a whooping 11 million in 2025. It is then expected to further surge to 30 million in 2030 since these cars will become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. China is expected to lead this surge with nearly 50% of the global EV market in 2025. The global renewable energy market is expected to reach approximately $2,152,903 million by 2025. The solar energy market is also expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 13.4% in revenue. Moreover, the sustainable development of smart cities is supported by solar energy.

In the passion for ecology and sustainable energy, Ilenia Zambelli, and Fabrizio Maroccia have designed a handmade aesthetically appealing solar charging prototype for electric vehicles. Ilenia Zambelli said in an interview, “We built the solar charger thinking about sunflowers. Like the flower, it is made of petals and can follow the sun to maximize its yield. It uses an algorithm that combines azimuth and zenith.” The solar azimuth angle is the azimuth angle of the position of the Sun. The horizontal coordinate defines the Sun’s relative direction along the horizon while the solar zenith angle establishes the sun’s apparent altitude.

The solar position algorithm has a solar position variables-solar zenith angle, solar azimuth angle, sun-earth distance to calculate the solar position at a given place. To enhance the use of solar power, the algorithm estimates the solar azimuth. Most of the solar photovoltaic energy (PV) calculator tools have the value of zero facing the equator in both northern and southern hemispheres. According to Ilenia Zambelli, the solar charger can be customized for different kinds of batteries and can be used to power up electric bikes, motorcycles, cars, and boats as well.

The electric vehicles can travel for 60-100 km before they need a recharge. Ilenia said, “With this charger, you will be free to charge your vehicle everywhere and using free energy.” There are no limits to the prototype of the universal solar battery charger. It is also considered universal because it can be adapted to any vehicle and battery. The charger can charge in two and a half hours depending on the size of the battery capacity. Zambelli said, “The particularity is that the vehicle can recharge both in motion and when it’s stationary thanks to the particular algorithm that uses Azimuth and Zenith and follows the sun.” The team has also filed a patent for their invention and is looking for partners, sponsors, manufacturers, or enterprises which are interested to support their project and to start a collaboration and mass production.