USE OF SOLAR CELLS AS AN AUXILIARY ELECTRICAL SYSTEM IN VEHICLES
Publication Date: 2005-Jun-28
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Vehicles can have an auxiliary electrical system in the form of solar cells. The energy produced by the solar cells can be used to power the air fan of the air conditioning system and/or to supply supplemental power to the vehicle battery in response to input signals to a control unit from temperature sensors when the vehicle is parked in the sun with the engine off. A humidity sensor and a CO2 sensor can be provided to supply respective input signals to the control unit to cause the solar cell energy to activate the air fan when the humidity and the CO2 level of the air in the passenger compartment are above preset values, and a battery charge sensor can be provided to sense the level of charge of the vehicle battery and to supply an input signal to the control unit to cause the vehicle battery to be trickle charged by the solar cell energy in response to that the battery charge is below a preset level. The control unit will be enabled to decide whether to activate the air fan and/or trickle charge the battery.
In order to reduce the load of the battery of a vehicle, it is known from e.g. EP 0 393 437 B1 and
US2004/0176021 A1 to equip the vehicle with an auxiliary electrical system in the form of solar cells. The auxiliary electrical system can be used i.a. for powering the air fan of the air conditioning system of the vehicle to ventilate the passenger compartment of the vehicle when the vehicle is parked in the sun with the engine off and/or for supplying supplemental power to the battery of the vehicle when it is parked in the sun with the engine off. To accomplish this, the vehicle is equipped with temperature sensors and a control unit that activates the air fan and/or recharges the vehicle battery in response to sensed temperatures above a preset temperature.
Truck drivers normally stay in the cab during rests. If the truck is parked in hot and humid weather with the engine off during such rests, the air in the cab will become muggy.
By providing a humidity sensor that senses the humidity of the air in the cab, the energy produced by the solar cells can be used to activate the air fan also in response to an input signal to the control unit from the humidity sensor indicating that the humidity of the air in the cab is above a preset humidity.
By providing a CO2 sensor that senses the level of CO2 of the air in the cab, the energy produced by the solar cells can be used to activate the air fan also in response...