In recent years, solar energy has become a very popular method to power electric vehicles. This emerging technology has motivated the development of new architectural typologies. An evident evolution of traditional gas stations, it could be foreseen that solar-powered charging stations will begin to significantly grow in numbers in our cities in both public and private spaces.
In response to this development, MDT-Tex – a manufacturer of textile-membrane structures – has designed a 'Solar Carport' that harvests the Sun's energy for charging electric vehicles.
The tulip-shaped structures have a central mast that spans an area of 5.3 x 5.3 meters, providing a sheltered parking spot for two cars. Each structure is equipped with 15 poly-Si solar panels that have a total installed photovoltaic power of approximately 4 kWp. With integrated fast chargers, the solar carport can charge a new BMWi3 to 80% in about 3 hours time.
Although the horizontal arrangement of the solar panels slightly reduces the energy's harvesting potential, the minimalistic design of the carport hides solar panels from the side visual, making it a unique energy harvesting structure.