|Solatec panels on the roof.|
LLC has flexible, rooftop-mounted solar panels for hybrid vehicles, starting with a kit for the 2004-2006 Toyota Prius. Panels for other hybrid models will follow.
Solatec’s photovoltaic kit adds two flexible, conformal panels that charge the hybrid automobile’s auxiliary battery through a proprietary charger/current-limiter system concealed behind interior trim panels. The self-adhesive, rooftop-mounted panels are only 0.6mm thick and cause no change in aerodynamic drag.
The solar panels augment the charging for the hybrid’s battery pack. A SolaPrius prototype averaged an overall 10% improvement in fuel economy.
The 18V panels—originally developed for solar aircraft research—output 30 watts of current.
The kits cost $2,195 and will be available nationwide through dealer franchises. Installation franchises are currently available in most areas.