Optimization of energy distribution for sun-powered thermo- HEV prototype
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© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Sun is an unlimited energy source and it may be used to replace internal combustion engines in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV's). Through concentrated solar thermal energy stored in thermal batteries with phase changing materials it's possible to drive thermal engines for generating electricity on board, thus reducing the amount of electrical batteries required. Therefore, optimization through advanced control techniques is needed, provided that transformation from thermal to electrical energy has low efficiency. Optimization is achieved by means of system identification and custom parameters design and is applicable to any sun powered plant using the technology of concentrated thermal energy. The current development includes a prototype of a small campus vehicle with 60 Km range, and combines concepts of user-centred design to generate acceptance of Sun-powered systems. Moreover, excess energy generated in the vehicle is used to provide electric energy for houses. Finally, the concept of transformation from any Electric Vehicle to Sun powered Thermal-HEV is introduced.