You will find several additions in the Crash Recovery System database-update this month. In addition to new passenger cars, we have also added various alternatively powered buses. In this newsletter, we will be talking about the Ebusco electric city bus. Furthermore, we discuss the solar panel this month, used as an extra energy source in alternatively powered vehicles. In this newsletter, we will be talking about the new Toyota Prius that is fitted with a roof in which solar panels have been incorporated.
Read more about it in our newsletter this month!
SOLAR PANELS IN THE ROOF
We already knew about the use of solar panels in the roof of a vehicle through the Fisker Karma and the third generation of the Toyota Prius. Now, however, the new generation of the Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is also optionally equipped with solar panels on the roof. This innovation can extend the electrical cruising range by 10 percent. The entire length of the roof is covered with solar cells. When the car is stationary, the energy generated is stored in the battery pack. The solar panels continue to generate energy while the Prius is driving. The electricity then goes to the electrical accessories such as the lights, electric windows and air-conditioning. The solar panel circuit is connected to the 12V and high-voltage circuits. The voltage that the solar panel produces depends on the light intensity, with a maximum of 52.4V. What does this development mean for the first responder?
SOLAR PANEL AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE
As can be seen on the screenshot of the Toyota Plugin Hybrid, the cabling runs from the solar panel via the C-pillar to the 12V and high-voltage circuits. The solar panel can be deactivated by covering it with a material that blocks out sunlight. Rescuers can utilize a thick wool blanket or heavy tarp and can consider adding this equipment to their rescue kit. If the solar panel is not covered, it will continue to generate electric. If you then cut through the C-pillar, this will cause a short circuit. This is obviously something to avoid, and the Crash Recovery System provides instructions to rescue personnel to take the appropriate actions.
SOLAR PANEL AND VEHICLE FIRE
If a vehicle fire occurs, whether the vehicle is equipped with a solar panel or not, potentially toxic gases will be released. Personnel should maintain a safe distance (5 metres) during firefighting operations. And they must always use self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during extinguishment and overhaul operations.
Advice from the Crash Recovery System regarding solar panels
EBUSCO ELECTRIC CITY BUS
During the period from May until September 2017, the Dutch company EBUSCO in Helmond supplied various European countries with electric city buses.
- Drive: completely electric
- Cruising range: minimum 300 km
- Carrying capacity: 95 passengers
The bus is already in use in Utrecht (the Netherlands), Bremen and Munich (Germany) and Stavanger (Norway)
The Ebusco city bus will be added to the European database of the CRS in this month's update. There are a number of important points for first responders:
1. This vehicle NEVER switches the engine off after an accident in the way we are used to in passenger cars, when activation of an airbag has been detected.
That's why you should always assume that the vehicle is switched on, even if it is not making a sound. The drive system can be turned off with the ignition (primary) or with the emergency deactivating switch (secondary) if the primary method is not possible.
2. In addition to the battery pack, the bus has a diesel fuel tank, which is circled in red in the above screenshot from the CRS. This tank is used for the bus' interior heating.
Service/emergency deactivation switch
The service/emergency deactivation switch is located next to the driver's seat and in the back of the engine compartment (see red arrows in CRS screenshot)
HV Battery pack
The Ebusco electric city bus has a ± 650 Volt Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack
Do not forget to update your database this month! The Toyota Prius and the Ebusco have been added to your Crash Recovery System together with the other vehicles in this update.