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Hong Kong PolyU researchers develop solar-powered A/C system for vehicles

Working in collaboration with industry partners, researchers of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have successfully developed a solar-powered air-conditioning system for vehicles and completed a series of testing on the road.

System components. Click to enlarge.

The system is developed by Professor Eric Cheng of PolyU’s Department of Electrical Engineering together with Green Power Industrial Ltd. With the support of Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong, the system has been installed on the top of a truck for carrying beverages and proved to work on the road. Components of the system include:

  • Solar photovoltaic modules;
  • Solar control system;
  • Air condition control unit;
  • Electrical VFD compressor; and
  • Blowing cool air and temperature feedback system.

Installed on the roof of the cab, the photovoltaic solar panel collects solar energy for storage in a custom battery system supported by an optimized control system. The power collected will support a stand-alone electric air-conditioner which can be switched on when the vehicle engine is not running. The system can also operate during cloudy or rainy days because solar energy is automatically stored in the battery during sunny weather.

PolyU and its partners will explore further use of this solar energy system in Hong Kong.



With future higher performance ultra light weight solar cells, this could be a smart way to supply clean energy for all accessories while driving and/or parked in sunny places. Collected and accumulated sun energy could extend e-range of PHEVs and BEVs. It would also be appreciated to have a cooled car cab on hot days and a warmed one on cold days.

Henry Gibson

Those who think that the TESLA is a great car, need to know that even the area of a semitrailer will not generate enough power from the sun to move it. Considering the efficiency of solar cells in a flat orientation of about 10 percent for the best units the power would be 6 kw. Solar electricity is limited by the area and the cost of the material to fill the area to collect it. The president of France could operate an indirect nuclear powered car, or he could drive a car with strontium or other isotope from fuel rods that provided heat for steam to run the car. ..HG..

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