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Shelf Car Solarshade Generates Power

Credits: ©2009 Design Boom Green Life

As the motoring world moves ever-closer to the welcome infiltration of electrically-powered cars, one thing holding them back is the availability of charging stations to “refuel” the vehicles which so far have an average range of around 120 miles between charges. The Shelf, a concept by Chinese designer Leon Zhu, takes advantage of the sun’s energy and collects enough of the stuff on a hot day to power the car’s air conditioner, tail lights and other electronic equipment, therefore extending the life of the car’s onboard batteries. What’s more, the solar panel protects a vehicle’s expensive duco from long exposure to the sun. A Design Boom "Green Life" entry, the Shelf foldable sunshine cover concept tucks into a specially-designed vehicle rear wing and extends over the parked vehicle’s roof to a clip on the hood that holds everything firmly in place. Zhu says the Shelf also can be used as rear wing to improve the stability of an auto at high speed. Even if the Shelf didn’t have solar cells, it’s still a good idea for keeping your car cool and protected, though you might want to think about tying it down when deploying the Shelf on a windy day.


Shelf Solar Vehicle Screen Folding into Wing

Designer Leon Zhu has proposed that solar panels could fold into a rear wing on a vehicle, then extended over the car when parked. ©2009 Leon Zhu