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Analysis of On-Board Photovoltaics for a Battery Electric Bus and Their Impact on Battery Lifespan

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in SAE 2016 World Congress and Exposition
Academic Editor: Rui Xiong
Energies 2017, 10(7), 943;
Received: 17 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Collection)
PDF [924 KB, uploaded 7 July 2017]


Heavy-duty electric powertrains provide a potential solution to the high emissions and low fuel economy of trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles. However, the cost, weight, and lifespan of electric vehicle batteries limit the implementation of such vehicles. This paper proposes supplementing the battery with on-board photovoltaic modules. In this paper, a bus model is created to analyze the impact of on-board photovoltaics on electric bus range and battery lifespan. Photovoltaic systems that cover the bus roof and bus sides are considered. The bus model is simulated on a suburban bus drive cycle on a bus route in Davis, CA, USA for a representative sample of yearly weather conditions. Roof-mounted panels increased vehicle driving range by 4.7% on average annually, while roof and side modules together increased driving range by 8.9%. However, variations in weather conditions meant that this additional range was not reliably available. For constant vehicle range, rooftop photovoltaic modules extended battery cycle life by up to 10% while modules on both the roof and sides extended battery cycle life by up to 19%. Although side-mounted photovoltaics increased cycle life and range, they were less weight- and cost-effective compared to the roof-mounted panels. View Full-Text
Keywords: electric vehicle; photovoltaics; lithium-ion battery; battery cycle life; simulation electric vehicle; photovoltaics; lithium-ion battery; battery cycle life; simulation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mallon, K.R.; Assadian, F.; Fu, B. Analysis of On-Board Photovoltaics for a Battery Electric Bus and Their Impact on Battery Lifespan. Energies 2017, 10, 943.

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