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Applied Energy 233–234 (2019) 403–41

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Parked electric car's cabin heat management using photovoltaic powered T


ventilation system
M. Kolhea,⁎, S.K. Adhikarib, T. Muneerb
a b
Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Agder, PO Box 422, NO 4604, Kristiansand, Norway
Transport Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH10 5DT, UK

HIGHLIGHTS

•Photovoltaic powered ventilation system for parked electric car.


•Solar photovoltaic car roof charging system for parked car’s ventilation.
•Photovoltaic powered electro-mechanical system for climate control of parked electric car.

ARTI CLE IN F O AB STRACT


Keywords: This paper explores the use of electric car roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) powered ventilation for cabin heat
Photovoltaic (PV) ventilation management/ventilation. A fully-functional Renault Zoe electric car has been used for performance evaluation of parked
Electric cars electric car ventilation directly powered by PV. This work has been part of a research project of testing electric cars in the
PV electro-mechanical system urban environment and it has been conducted at the Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute. In this work,
parked electric car ventilation has been reported, when roof-mounted PV modules were used to operate DC powered fans for
ventilation. It has been found that the DC motor-fan selection for removing the hot air from cabin space is of important (i.e.
operating characteristics of motor-fan have been very close to the maximum power points locus of the PV modules at di ferent
solar insolation). The electric car cabin temperature models with reference to solar radiation have been presented and it will be
useful for knowing the parked car cabin temperature variations and designing the car roof mounted PV powered ventilation
system. In this paper, performance evaluation of parked electric car’s cabin heat management is presented and analysed.
Results from this work will be helpful for designing electric car ventilation system (operating at parking time), when powered
by vehicle roof integrated PV modules.

1. Introduction Globally, the electric car penetration is increasing exponentially. It is


important to optimize the power fow from the electric car’s battery bank. The
electric car’s ventilation system consumes battery energy and its energy
⁎ efciency can be improved by decreasing the energy consumption of
Corresponding author.
ventilation. The load reduction of the car auxiliaries can be helpful for electric
E-mail address: mohan.l.kolhe@uia.no (M. Kolhe).
cars as well as, fossil fuel-based cars. The car auxiliaries are responsible for
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.10.012 the consumption of larger percentage share of the overall car energy use.
Received 11 January 2018; Received in revised form 20 September 2018; Accepted 8 October 2018 Available
Electric car roof integrated PV modules can be used to power directly the
online 21 October 2018 parked car’s ventilation system using DC motor-fan(s) [1–3]. It can help in
0306-2619/ © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
cabin heat management of the electric car. Ford Motor Company has
introduced C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, for sun- powered plug-in hybrid
M. Kolhe et al. Applied Energy 233–234 (2019) 403–411
electric vehicle and Fresnel lens-based PV modules can help in charging of
hybrid vehicle [4], but it has not used PV power only for car’s ventilation
system. The Panasonic Corporation has provided the “HIT Photovoltaic
Module for Automobile”, and integrated with roof of Toyota’s Prius PHV [5].
Toyota Motor Corporation has received Good Design Gold award for it’s
PRIUS model, in which car roof mounted PV arrays are integrated [6]. In this
work, a Renault Zoe electric car has been used for conducting experiments for
analysing the role of car roof mounted PV powered ventilation especially
during the parking time [1]. This article explores parked car cabin ventilation
using directly PV powered motor-fan. When an electric car is parked in open
area on clear sunny day, the electric car cabin temperature can increase
sharply and can go up to 60 °C, and it was observed during the experiments at
the Napier Edinburgh University. This heat build-up will further increase the
air conditioning load as the approach between the thermal comfort
temperature and interior temperature will be higher. Thus, if the temperature
inside when the vehicle is parked on exposure can be prevented by using free
energy form the sun then the air conditioner load and the energy use from
batteries for EV can be reduced. PV arrays are directly used for powering
water pumping and propeller systems through DC motorcentrifugal
pump/load [7–13]. In Ref. [12], a detailed methodology has been presented
for design of DC permanent magnet motor coupled with centrifugal load, Fig. 2. Experimental setup for carrying out the experiment.
when powered by PV array and it will be useful for selection/design of DC
motors-fans for car roof mounted PV powered ventilation system. The DC
motor-propeller design with reference to the maximum operating points of PV parked car’s cabin temperatures. Results from the [17] can be used in
array are explained in Ref. [13] and it will be benefcial for fan design of understanding the car cabin temperature variation with reference to the
electric car ventilation system to operate near to the maximum power point of incident solar radiation. It gives an opportunity to explore the role of car roof
PV array. In Ref. [14], heat transfer and energy balance inside the car has been mounted PV system during parking of car for ventilation/car cabin heat
analysed and will be useful for designing the parked electric car ventilation management and especially it will be very useful for the electric car ’s cabin
system, when powered by PV array. There is a possibility for use of car roof thermal management/ventilation during parking period.
mounted PV array for powering directly coupled PV powered DC motofan
systems for car ventilation [1]. This work is examining role of directly PV
2. Experimental setup
powered DC motor-fan system for reducing the car cabin temperature and
increasing the energy efciency of the electric car. Measured data, diferent
mathematical models have been developed for analysing the parked car cabin
temperature with reference to incident solar radiation, ambient temperature.
There has been much work [2,3] on the measurements of temperature inside
the surface of the car when parked in the sun. But some of them have not
correlated the combination of solar radiation and ambient temperature on
parked car cabin temperature distribution. However, this work has considered
the modelling of the measured temperature data inside the car cabin with
relation to the amount of solar radiation falling on the car surface. This work
has presented, the measured ambient temperature and car cabin temperature
using diferent thermocouples, located at various places in the car and the
solar radiation on the car roof has been measured using pyranometer. These
some of the models were taken based on earlier works [13–15].
There have been many studies conducted on the analysis of cabin temperature
with respect to the solar radiation [16] and experimental tests have been
reported on cabin temperature pattern during sunny day, when the car in
parked in an open space (Fig. 1):
A simple model for predicting daily car cabin temperature variations using the
available meteorological data is reported in [17]. It has been calibrated using
meteorological data and car temperature data collected on parked cars (car
Fig. 1. Temperature trend inside the car measured
colour black and white) over several summer seasons and it has used ambient
temperature and the solar radiation falling in the surface as input data. It can In this work, a Renault Zoe electric car was used for performing experiments
be used to predict and it was parked at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchistion campus (UK)
(Fig. 2). The ventilation system was directly powered by PV and used DC
motor-fans. To measure the electric car’s cabin temperature, thermocouples
were placed inside. The DC motor coupled fans must be put in a position in
the car, where the hot and less dense air can easily be extracted out of the car.
So, keeping this in mind the DC motor-fans were placed in the side windows
of the car. A schematic diagram of the thermocouples placements in the car is

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M. Kolhe et al. Applied Energy 233–234 (2019) 403–411
shown in Fig. 3 [1]. Thermocouple locations are given in Table 1. Details 3. Measurements
about the PV array and other instrumentation are given in Table 2:
The necessary measurements were recorded for 6 days. The measurement
details [1] are described as:

•Day 1–3: The PV panels and pyranometer were tilted from horizontal at
230. The 230 angle was selected for this model as the front windshield of
the car was measured to be 23 0. Thus, it would able to analyse if the front
glass was covered with solar glass how much the motors could be
powered. The PV output was used directly to power fans of 10 W and 12
W. The fans were located on the rear side of the car and the windows on
the front were released 1.3 cm once the PV powered fans were operating.
Fig. 3. The thermocouples positions in the car.

•Day 4 and 5: The PV panels and pyranometer were horizontal. The PV


Table 1
output was used to power four fans (2 on backside and 2 on front side)
Thermocouple locations in the car.
each of 5.3 W.
Thermocouples Placement Position

T1 Front Side
From left edge –23 cm •Day 6: The car was fully sealed, and ventilation fans were not used. The
Above the vehicle foor – 80 cm
car cabin temperature recorded and inside cabin temperature variations
T3 Front Side From the right edge – 24 cm
were measured with reference to solar intensity.
Above the vehicle foor – 80 cm
T6 Vehicle Roof From the right edge – 16 cm
The recorded measurements are evaluated and analysed for each day. Some
Above the vehicle foor – 102 cm
analysis is also reported in our earlier article [1].
T8 Vehicle Floor From the left edge – 34 cm
Above the vehicle foor – 120 cm
T5 Backside From the right edge – 16 cm 3.1. Performance evaluation for day 1 (09-07-2014)
Above the vehicle foor – 102 cm
T7 Backside From the left edge – 33 cm 3.1.1. Solar radiation
Above the vehicle foor – 102 cm The variation of solar radiation on this day is given in Fig. 4.
T2 Outside Above the vehicle foor – 98 cm

3.1.2. Temperature measurements


Table 2 The temperature profle in front side, backside, and top of the car
PV module and instrumenta tion of the experiment. (with/without fan) is given in Fig. 5. On this day, maximum temperature
Device Capacity Explanation inside the car cabin at the front, was increased to 52 °C. After turning on the
PV powered fan, the cabin temperature started decreasing and average
PV Module 80 Wp Vmp of 17.6 V
temperature dropped to 33 °C. Also, it is noticed that the top side average
Data Logger Squirrel 2020 series data logger, having internal memory of
temperature was 43 °C and car backside maximum temperature was 35 °C.
128 Mb
When the PV powered fan was turned on the temperature dropped to 25 °C.
Pyranometer Kipp and Zonen CM11 pyranometer having sensitivity of
5.28 × 10-6 V/Wm−2 This shows that if the PV powered ventilation has been used in the parked car,
Fans 10 Watt Rotating speed – 3650 rpm at 12 V and 830 mA
then the temperature is in comfort zone, and will reduce starting load required
12 Watt Rotating speed – 5400 rpm at 12 V and 1A for ventilation on the electric car’s battery bank.

5 Watt Rotating speed – 2900 rpm at 12 V and 440 mA


3.2. Performance evaluation for day 2 (10-07-2014)

For ftting the DC motor-fans in the windows, a piece of wood was cut into 3.2.1. Solar radiation
the shape of side windows. A hole was made in the piece of wood measuring The variation of solar radiation on this day is given in Fig. 6.
the dimension of the fan so that the fan could be perfectly ftted into it. The
cut piece of wood was ftted in the window by frst opening the window and 3.2.2. Temperature measurements
attaching it tightly on sides of the car window. The window was then locked On this day, it was observed that the car cabin temperature in the top was
and then the electrical connection for connecting both fans with the PV panels around 40 °C and backside temperature was 50 °C (Fig. 7). When the
was done inside the car. As it. Thus, while carrying out the experiment all the ventilation fan (i.e. DC motor-fan) directly powered from the PV array, the car
spaces from where the air can enter or escape from inside the car were sealed. cabin temperature dropped to 32 °C, which was very close to ambient
The wires from the PV modules from the outside were taken in through the temperature.
back window and the gap created during was also sealed with tape.

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M. Kolhe et al. Applied Energy 233–234 (2019) 403–411

Fig. 4. Solar radiation at Aspect of 530 West of South and tilt of 23 °C [1].

Fig. 5. Temperature profle in front back and top side of the car (with/without fan) [1].
3.3. Performance evaluation for day 3: (11–07-2014) 3.5. Performance evaluation for day 5: (18-07-2014)

3.3.1. Solar radiation 3.5.1. Solar radiation


The variation of solar radiation on this day is given in Fig. 8. The variation of solar radiation on this day is given in Fig. 12.

3.5.2. Temperature measurements


3.3.2. Temperature measurements The variation of car cabin temperature in front and back and side (without and
On this day, the car cabin temperature variation in front (withoutand with fan) with PV powered ventilation fans) is shown in Fig. 13. The car cabin
is reported in Fig. 9. It was observed that the car cabin temperature went upto temperature profles with respective thermocouples are shown in Fig. 13.
57 °C. After powering directly PV powered ventilation fans (i.e. DC motor-
fan), it dropped to 40 °C. The inside car cabin temperature profles at the back
3.6. Performance evaluation for day 6: Date (20/07/2014–21/07/2014)
and top (without and with fan) is provided in Fig. 9. The t6 thermocouple (top
side) recorded 49 °C and average temperature was 45 °C. Similarly the other
During this time, only the car cabin temperature variations were measured
thermocouple t8 recorded 42 °C. After PV powering the ventilation fan, the
(Fig. 14). The idea behind carrying out this test was to analyze the
car cabin temperature decreased near to ambient temperature of around 30 °C.
This clearly make the case for use of PV powered ventilation system for temperature profle inside the car cabin during a 24-h time period.
parked electric car’s cabin temperature management and for reducing the car The top-side temperature was increased up to 48 °C due to thermal
ventilation demand on the battery bank. stratifcation. Similarly, temperatures had started decreasing after 4 PM and at
around 8 PM, the cabin temperature was close to the ambient temperature.
Some results are also described in detail in our previous work [1]. The
3.4. Performance evaluation for day 4: (17-07-2014) measurement analysis is given in Table 3.
This work has considered the modelling of the measured temperature data
3.4.1. Solar radiation inside the car cabin with relation to the amount of solar radiation falling on
The variation of solar radiation on this day is given in Fig. 10. the car surface. This work has presented, the measured ambient temperature
and car cabin temperature using diferent thermocouples, located at various
places in the car and the solar radiation on the car roof has been measured
3.4.2. Temperature measurements using pyranometer. Based on the measured data, diferent mathematical
Temperature profle in front of the car (without and with fan) is provided in models have been developed. For development of the car cabin temperature
Fig. 11. Four low-starting-torque fans each of 5.3 W were used and they were distribution model, the top side measured temperatures have been considered.
directly powered by PV array. The back and top side car cabin temperature The car cabin temperature distribution varies through heat mass transfer in the
variations with respective thermocouples are shown in Fig. 11. When the car cabin. The model has considered a linear relationship between the solar
directly PV powered ventilation fans started PV, the car cabin temperature radiation and the diference in temperature between the top side temperature
dropped near to ambient. This clearly make the case for use of PV powered of the car and the ambient temperature. In this analysis, the following three
ventilation system for parked electric car’s cabin temperature management diferent conditions have been considered:
and for reducing the car ventilation demand on the battery bank.

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Fig. 6. Solar radiation at aspect of 530 West of South and tilt of 23 °C [1].

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M. Kolhe et al. Applied Energy 233–234 (2019) 403–411

Fig. 7. Temperature profle in front, back and topside of the car (without and with fan) [1].

Fig. 8. Solar radiation at aspect of 530 West of South and tilt of 23 °C [1].

•Variation of the car cabin temperature distribution due to the incident solar In this work Mt Tc t( ) has been taken as zero. The car roof tempera-
dt ture and outside
radiation on the car (i.e. roof of the cars, side windows, rear windows, temperature can be written as:
front windows and other surfaces of the car). (Troof−−Toutside) = C × S t( ) (2)

•Efect of ambient temperature. The specifc heat absorption capacity i.e. C can be determined and used for
predicating the car cabin temperature. The C has correlation with the solar
•Geometry, car orientation and location of the car. In this work,
radiation and temperature and Eq. (2) is a linear equation for temperature with
respect to the solar radiation. The measurements of the solar radiation and the
experiments have been carried out with the car facing north. car topside and ambient temperature have been used for fnding the specifc
heat absorption capacity. In these equations, it is assumed that the
The heat accumulation and car cabin temperature can be expressed by the environmental variables like wind speed and other efects are considered
following equation: negligible. As the cabin temperature is also dependent on the prevailing winds
however in this
Tc t( )
statistical model these conditions were not modelled. The thermal exchange
Mt= S t( )−C (Tc( ) T0( )t − t )
parameter C can be determined using the experimental data, however in
dt (1) reality the radiative heat transfer condition and environmental conditions vary
with time of day and the cabin air temperature does not instantaneously adjust
where Mt represents the thermal mass inside the car, to the changed heat input and loss. The conditions of environment cannot be
Tc t( ) modelled easily and a thus a complex heat mechanism was not considered for
is the rate of change of temperature with respect to time, dt the car. The efects of occupants will impact the car cabin temperature as well
S (t) is the solar radiation on the car roof, C is as the drive cycle and the heat dissipated during driving. This model is based
the specifc heat absorption capacity, on steady state and when the electric car is parked.
Tc (t) is the cabin temperature, T0 (t)
is the ambient temperature.

Temperature prof

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Fig. 9. le in front, top and back of the car (without- and with fan) [1].

Fig. 10. Solar radiation on horizontal surface [1].


4. Electric car cabin temperature distribution empirical relationships Through curve ftting (Fig. 17), it has been observed that the relationship
between ambient temperature and solar radiation is linear with R 2 = 0.93,
(A) Modelling of solar radiation falling on the car surface with relation to car which shows that it has a good ft. It gives a linear relationship as:
cabin temperature:
Tair = 0.0189IG + 9.265 (5)
The incident solar radiations on car have been measured for a day and plotted
against the car cabin temperature (inside the car surface). Based on the (D) Modelling of solar radiation in relation to car cabin temperatureand ambient
measurements, a relationship with R2 =0.9137 have been reported in Fig. 15 temperature:
and it has been observed through experimental results that the relationship
between the car cabin temperature and solar radiations is linear. The heat accumulation and temperature build up inside the car can be
Through curve ftting, the car cabin temperature variation with reference to the expressed by the Eq. (1). Also, from Figs. 1–3, it can be observed that the car
solar radiation is expressed by cabin temperature caries linearly with the solar radiation and ambient
temperature. In this section, a development of mathematical model for car
Tcabin = 0.0432IG + 12.997 (3) cabin temperature with relations to the solar radiation and ambient
This curve ftting equation has R2 = 0.91, which shows that it has a good ft. temperature using empirical relationships of Eqs. (2), (3), (4) and (5) has been
presented.
The slope of the linear Eq. (3) is specifc conductivity, which is related to the
The temperature build-up inside the car is depended on the solar radiation and
car roof, glasses, dashboard etc. This equation can be useful for determining
the product of thermal conductivity of diferent parts of the car and the
car specifc cabin temperature with respect to the incident solar radiation on
temperature gradient between the outside ambient temperature and car front
the car roof.
surface temperature (Eq. (1)). Car cabin temperature doesn’t increase
(B) Modelling of ambient temperature near the surface of the car and car instantly, and it considers thermal mass of the car cabin. Therefore, the
cabin temperature: temperature measurements have been carried out in 5 min time interval. The
measurements have been carried out for two orientations:
The ambient temperature has been measured for a day and plotted against the
car cabin temperature (Fig. 16). It has been observed through curve ftting that (E) Car cabin temperature distribution model if the solar radiations aremeasured
the relationship between them is linear with R 2 =0.93, which shows that it has at a tilt angle:
a good ft. For this specifc experimental car, the relationship between ambient
In this section, the solar radiation has been measured at a tilt angle of 23°. The
temperature and car cabin temperature is given by,
car cabin temperature has been measured in the front side of car and the solar
Tcabin = 0.4868Tair + 8.0307 (4) radiation at a tilt angle of 23°. Car cabin temperature variations with respect to
the solar radiation have been plotted in Fig. 18. Through curve ftting, it has
(C) Modelling of incident solar radiation with relation to ambient temperature: been observed that the relationship between titled solar radiation and
temperature diference is not linear.
The measured solar radiation and ambient temperature are analyzed and Through curve ftting, the obtained equation for R2 =0.95 is given by,
plotted in Fig. 17 for fnding an empirical relationship among them. Based on
the measured data, it has been observed through curve ftting that there is a
linear relationship among them.

Temperature prof

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Δ T=−0.00004IG2 + 0.0835IG−17.225 (6)

Fig. 11. le in front back and topside of the car (without and with fan) [1].

Fig. 12. Solar radiation on horizontal surface [1].


The car cabin temperature in the front side area can be given by, ΔTcabin = +Tair 2x10( 8)− xIG3−0.00004IG2 + 0.0378IG + 6.0794 (9)

Tcabin = +−Tair 0.00004IG2 + 0.0835IG−17.225 (7) From above regression analysis, it has been observed that the R 2 is 0.90,
which states that the model performs well and fts well.
where, IG is global solar radiation at tilt angle 23° (W/m2),
This cabin temperature distribution of parked car due to solar energy heat gain
can be very useful for designing the car ventilation during parking time. The
ΔT is the temperature diference between the car cabin and ambient parked car ventilation can also be powered using roof mounted solar
temperature (0C), photovoltaic panels. The performance evaluation of parked electric car
Tcabin is the car cabin temperature (0C), Tair is the ventilation, using roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) modules, is reported in our
earlier work [1,18]. Ventilation has been used for extracting the hot air from
ambient air temperature (0C).
cabin space of parked car. Experimentally obtained results are also discussed
with diferent perspective in our earlier work [1,18], but in this work more
From above regression analysis, it has been observed that the value of R 2 is
detail analysis with empirical relationship on cabin temperature with reference
0.95, which states that the curve ftting is very good.
to incident solar radiation are presented. Results of this work will be very
useful for designing proper ventilation of parked car and may be for using
(F) Car cabin temperature distribution model if the solar radiations are
roof mounted photovoltaic powered ventilation during parking of the electric
measured on horizontal plane:
car.
In this section, the solar radiation has been measured on a horizontal plane.
While developing the model, the measured values of the front side 5. Conclusion
temperature of the car cabin and the measured values of the solar radiation on
horizontal plane have been considered and plotted in Fig. 19. In this work, roof mounted PV powered ventilation system has been used for
From Fig. 19, the temperature distribution is not linear with respect to the parked electric car’s cabin temperature management. The experimental results
solar radiation on the horizontal surface. Through curve ftting, the following have shown that such system can be used for powering parked electric car
relation between temperature diference and the horizontal surface solar ventilation system, and it can help in reducing the cabin temperature till
radiation is obtained, ambient level, especially during summer months/sunny days. The electric car
cabin temperature models with reference to solar radiation have been
Δ T= 2x10( 8)− xIG3−0.00004IG2 + 0.0378IG + 6.0794 (8) presented and it will be useful for knowing the parked car cabin temperature
variations and designing the car roof mounted PV powered ventilation system.
Thus, the cabin temperature of the experimental car as function of ambient
The car cabin temperature variations also depend on the ambient temperature
temperature and solar radiation on horizontal surface is given by:
around the surface of the car.
The experimental results have clearly demonstrated the usefulness of the
electric car roof mounted PV system for ventilation especially during the
parking time. It has been observed that the operating speed of the ventilation

Temperature prof

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system (DC motor-fans) depends on the incident solar radiation and DC cabin space is of crucial importance. The operational points of combination of
motor-fan parameters. Also, the motor-fan starting torque, rotational speed DC electric motor and fan should be near to PV array’s maximum operating
and volumetric fow rate are dependent on the PV array output. It has been points. Results
found that the selection of fan and DC motor for extracting the hot air from

Fig. 13. le in front, back and topside of the car (without and with fan) [1].

Temperature prof

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Fig. 14. Car cabin temperature profle [1].


Table 3
Table showing the percentage reduction in temperature with the use of the fans.
Date Average Temp (°C) Average Temp (°C) Reduction Condition
(Without fan) (With fan) (%)

09/07/2014 37.6 28.36 25 2 Fans


10/07/2014 42 34.2 19 2 Fans
11/07/2014 39.2 32.6 17 2 Fans
17/07/2014 34.03 29.5 13 4 Fans
18/07/2014 31.89 30.9 3 4 Fans

Fig. 17. Relationship between car cabin temperature and ambient temperature.

Fig. 15. Relationship between car cabin temperature and solar radiation.

Fig. 18. Model for 230 tilt.

Fig. 16. Relationship between car cabin temperature and ambient temperature.

from this work will be helpful for designing electric car ventilation system Fig. 19. Model for horizontal surface.
(operating at parking time), when powered by vehicle roof integrated PV
modules. Also, the results will help in designing the car roof PV module based
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