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BMW Develops Solar Carport Concept

Posted on the 08 May 2014 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
BMW develops a solar carport that generates electricity for the BMW i modelsBMW develops a solar carport that generates electricity for the BMW i models. (Credit: BMW Group)

The international media launch of the BMW i8 in Los Angeles will include the presentation of a solar carport concept developed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA for the use of renewable energy.

The solar carport combines a technology for generating electricity from solar power with a design that complements the BMW i models.

According to the company’s press-release, in its choice of materials, design and color, the DesignworksUSA carport concept takes its cue from the characteristic styling of the BMW i models to form a harmonious counterpart. In addition to the carbon elements on the side of the carport, the principal material used is bamboo in the form of struts. Thanks to its rapid growth, bamboo is considered a particularly sustainable raw material. For the generation of electricity, high-grade glass-on-glass solar modules are used. These are translucent and very durable, as well as generating a high energy yield. For the panels used in Europe, the manufacturer offers a 30-year guarantee.

BMW claims that the solar carport not only guarantees the supply of green power but also allows for energy self-sufficiency, so that customers remain independent of electricity prices.

In conjunction with the BMW i Wallbox Pro, the car can be specifically charged with solar electricity from the carport. The Wallbox also indicates the amount of solar energy that goes into the car and provides an analysis of recent charging processes which shows the respective proportions of solar and grid power. If the solar panels provide energy beyond the requirements of the vehicle, this surplus solar power can be put to domestic use.

The BMW i Wallbox Pure or Pro are the charging stations, which are mounted on the house or garage wall. The company claims that these stations can charge the BMW i8 much faster than is possible with the charge cable supplied as standard—with the Wallbox Pro, the BMW i8 is can be charged to 80% of its full capacity in less than two hours.

“With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply,” explains Tom Allemann, who is responsible for the carport design at BMW Group DesignworksUSA. “This is therefore an entirely new generation of carports that allows energy to be produced in a simple and transparent way. It renders the overarching theme of lightweight design both visible and palpable.”

The BMW Group subsidiary headquartered in California runs an international design studio network in Europe, Asia and America.

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