Power Management System for a Solar Electric Vehicle

by Jonathan West

Institution: University of New Mexico
Year: 2014
Keywords: Solar Electric Vehicle Lithium Polymer Battery
Record ID: 2028789
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/23633


The Lobo Del Sol solar car is powered by solar panels on the top of the body which deliver power to the motor and a battery system. A typical solar car design simply wires all of the solar panels and batteries in series in order to give a high voltage to the motor. Although this approach is simple, it has the major drawback that all of the components are in series and therefore every battery and solar cell represents a single point failure of the entire system. Monitoring and balancing of the battery cells is also difficult in series due to the high voltages. With many cells in series, the battery system will tend to become unbalanced over many charge cycles which can result in premature failure of weaker cells. My design eliminates these drawbacks by using smaller, independent battery modules operating in parallel, at a lower voltage, with DC-DC converters to boost the voltage and combine the power from the individual modules for delivery to the motor. The design is modular so that individual battery modules can be disabled without compromising the entire pack.