SunPower

Ford Announces Solar Hybrid-Electric Car

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Imagine a car that ran completely on sunlight. You could park it outdoors on a sunny day, and while you shopped or worked or visited friends, it would be quietly refilling its tank, at no cost to you.

Well, you don’t have to imagine any further, this car will be revealed to the public for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas next week.

The car is the Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept. Its announcement represents a significant leap into a clean energy future, revealing possibilities that many of us may not have even considered before.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is the first of its kind, a sun-powered car that can charge up and run completely untethered, away from any gas station, away from the electric grid, away from civilization altogether.

The vehicle has a solar panel roof that utilizes a special concentrator lens that increases the amount of energy that can be collected from the roof area. The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept has been given an EPA estimated rating of 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway. An average vehicle owner could be expected to save as much as four metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, by avoiding grid charging. That’s about one-third as much as a typical American home produces in a year.

Solar Grid Storage Saves the Sunshine for a Rainy Day

Fossil fuels like gasoline, or even coal, have a unique characteristic that we never thought about until we thought about trying to replace them. That is the fact that, not only are they energy sources, but they are energy sources that store the energy they contain, to be released whenever needed. That is not that case for wind power or solar. They do not come packaged with their own built-in storage capacity.

Or at least they didn’t before the folks at Solar Grid Storage, sensing a business opportunity, came up with a way to package solar energy and energy storage into an integrated system.

Combining technological innovation with business innovation, they retain ownership of their storage systems, providing storage-as-a-service to their customers. By maintaining the storage asset and dispatching power to the grid as needed, they can derive revenue from the grid support market, to help finance the storage assets. At the same time, their systems include the power inverter needed to convert the DC power coming off the PV arrays into grid synchronized AC power. This saves their customers the expense of installing the inverters, which all other grid-supported solar PV systems require.

The systems also provide resilience and stability to the grid, and they answer directly the FERC’s orders to grid operators “to develop and adopt programs aimed at creating and delivering fast reacting services that help balance power.” The net result is a more reliable grid, even during times of high stress. This is crucial to mission-critical operations and highly desirable everywhere else.

California regulators recently set new targets for energy storage capacity, recognizing the criticality of this capability to the continued growth of renewables, as well as the stability of the grid. A full 1.325 GW of storage, much of it from independent developers, is expected to come online by 2020.

New 49ers Stadium to be Solar-Powered and Ultra-Green

santa-clara-stadiumAfter an unexpectedly "bright" NFL season in which they played in the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers have announced that solar panels on their new $1.2 billion stadium will generate enough electricity over the course of the year to offset the power consumed during home games.

Ford and SunPower Team Up On Sustainability Partnership

Ford charges up its sustainability program with electric vehicle initiative

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