C-Max Solar Energi, Ford, Fresnel lenses, Haroon Rasheed, high-efficiency solar panels, renewable energy, solar-powered cars, solar-powered golf carts, spiralling energy costs, tracking system monitors
Concerns about depleting fuel reserves, their damaging impact on the environment and spiralling energy costs have led automobile manufacturers to explore the commercial potential of vehicles using renewable energy. Taking the lead is Ford which is focusing on making solar-powered cars financially viable for the general public with the launch of its concept sedan, the C-Max Solar Energi.
This concept car uses 15 to 20 small Fresnel lenses attached to tall metal structures (with large surface areas) which are placed on top of high-efficiency solar panels installed on the roof of the car. The lenses capture sunlight and act as magnifying glasses, thus increasing the amount of energy that the panels can generate by almost eight times. This allows the car’s battery to be completely charged within six hours of direct exposure to the sun, and can power the car for nearly 38 kilometres.