Cute Solar Charging Canopies Tilt Toward Sun
E-cars aren't capturing hearts and minds, not yet anyway, but when (if) they do, Swedish company Solelia Greentech hopes to rent and sell its solar-powered, two-car charging canopies to make sure those electric vehicles are actually clean and green.
Solelia's solar charging canopy consists of 1 Kw of photovoltaic panels divided between two parking "spaces", with charging posts for each space. The panels, with the addition of an optional motor, can follow the sun during the day to always be in an optimal angle and produce as much electricity as possible. Solelia says the tilting canopies can produce up to 30% more electricity than conventional fixed solar cells. The canopies can be ordered in any color.
Solelia's model is to rent or sell the canopy to an organization or company, which can then decide to supply generated electricity to employees for free, to simply use them for charging company e-cars, or to "bank" collected solar electricity and sell it back to anyone using the canopy for charging.
The canopy on each Solelia unit cover about 7 square meters of parking space, and has eight individual photovoltaic panels of 150 watts each. Solelia said it believes each parking space (2 to a canopy) will be sufficient to provide between 7,000 to 10,000 kilometers of driving power per car. But even if the canopy does not generate sufficient solar electricity, e-car owners won't be caught without re-charging capability.
The company's pricing plan is based on a number of miles (kilometers) per parking space per year. Thus, for example, if the pricing plan for one parking space of 10,000 kilometers is chosen (Solelia plans to price this at SEK 1,250 - US$190.00 per month) and there's not enough electricity generated, Solelia will provide backup power from the rest of its 'Sun Bank' network that it guarantees to be solar generated. (In case you were wondering, that means Solelia is basically selling solar-generated electricity for about $.36 cents per mile.)
Two canopies have thus far been installed in Sweden in the cities of Uppsala and Eskilstuna.