Aston Martin Vantage GTE to get solar air con for 2014 WEC

Aston Martin, British sports car manufacturer, keen on improving driver comfort and utilising all of engine power to spin the wheels ended up turning to green solution. Aston Martin Racing joining hands with Hanergy Global Solar Power & Applications Group is developing solar based air conditioner for the Vantage GTE race car.

Aston Martin GTE 01Hanergy is working on using thin film solar cells to tap sunlight and convert it to reusable power, utilising vacant space on rooftop and rear windscreen of the race car. This electricity will run the air conditioning unit by itself, totally independent of engine rotation. Thereby, Aston Martin’s track performance will increase, and will earn them bragging rights for going green.

By bringing the concept to life, Aston Martin Racing would implement on V12 Vantage GT3 and V8 Vantage GT4. Expected race debut is on 20th to 22nd September 2014 at 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas. Temperatures go high in Texas, where air conditioning will require significant power to keep the driver cool.

Aston Martin GTE 02Present FIA WEC regulations dictate that GT cars must be equipped with Air-Con units to maintain temperature of cockpit less than 32 degrees centigrade or 12 degrees above ambient temperature. The 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend, where Aston martin Racing won in the LMGTE Am category, did not require importance to in-cabin HVAC as ambient temperatures were not as high.

Apart from enforcing eco friendly technologies in race cars, Aston Martin and Hanergy are exploring methods to incorporate solar panels in its new Banbury premises to augment efficiency and promote clean energy.

Aston Martin GTE 03Auto manufacturers implementing solar rooftops are trending, we see MINI plant bodyshop getting roof-mounted solar farm at Oxford, Mercedes-Benz India plant administrative unit’s solar rooftop and Maruti Suzuki investing Rs 10 crore on Manesar plant solar unit.

But rather important question here – Is this the future of air conditioning in cars?

Mercedes-Benz India solar