Flanders Make tests flexible solar panels for vehicles
Within the European HighLite, an international consortium is investigating how flexible solar panels can be used in buildings or vehicles. Within that context, the consortium was looking for a partner with the right knowledge and infrastructure for testing vehicles.
The HighLite consortium is brimming with knowledge about flexible integratable solar panels, but knowledge about their application in a vehicle is less extensive. Fraunhofer ISE, who developed a prototype of a flexible solar panel in this project, therefore wrote a contract consisting of a knowledge and an infrastructure part.
Role of Flanders Make
Flanders Make was able to convince the consortium through its extensive knowledge and state-of-the-art test infrastructure for vehicles. Our diversity of researchers enables us to mechanically and electrically integrate these flexible solar panels into vehicles. We also take into account the applicable standards and regulations and test all automotive components. Moreover, our top infrastructure allows us to immediately test real-life scenarios on a vehicle.
First of all, we focus on the requirements for the solar panels, from all angles. Then we draw up a test plan and carry out the tests to check whether the solar modules meet the strict automotive qualifications. The required tests must match real-world driving as closely as possible. We combine vibrations, temperature fluctuations, humidity and, in this case very important, light incidence/solar emulation. To do this, we use our own test vehicles, among other things, to capture the data and convert it into a test cycle. We then use this test cycle for component-level testing in our electrodynamic shaker (EDS) incl. climate chamber and solar emulation. The combination of all these facets in 1 test turned out to be unique to the HighLite consortium.