New Toyota Prius Has Cool Technology - No Sweat!
Next-generation Prius helps drivers keep their cool with a ventilation system
powered by solar cells and a world-first remote air-conditioning system that
runs off the hybrid battery.
22nd April, 2009
Toyota's next-generation Prius offers "cool" technology - literally -
that dramatically reduces in-car temperatures and saves fuel.
In a world first, the hybrid battery in Prius can be remotely activated to power the air-conditioner for up to
three minutes before the driver enters the vehicle.
The new Toyota Prius is also offered with solar cells on the roof that power a fan to discharge hot air from the
car when it is parked.
The two systems cool the Prius interior before starting a journey and they produce a quicker overall cool-down
time, thereby saving fuel.
Toyota's test data indicates that temperatures in a normal car could rise to about 80șC when the ambient air
temperature is 35șC.
By using the solar-powered ventilation when parked and then operating the remote air-conditioning system for
one minute, the in-car temperature in the new Prius could be cut by more than 40 per cent to 45șC.
The remote air-conditioning system enables the hybrid battery to activate the air-conditioner's electric
inverter compressor, which can operate without using the petrol engine.
The system is engaged by pressing the "A/C" button on the key fob. Typical uses would be when exiting a shopping
centre, before leaving home or from a restaurant after having lunch.
The solar panels for the ventilation system are integrated into the rear of a sliding glass moonroof.
They power an electrically-operated fan that circulates and discharges hot air - without the need for the engine to
The poly-silicon solar cells are identical to those used on houses. There are 36 cells, generating 59W of
Toyota has also made the air-conditioner system in the new Prius smaller, lighter and more efficient with
significantly enhanced cooling performance.
The electric inverter runs independently of engine speed, ensuring optimum operating conditions.
As cooling does not depend on driving conditions, the system is more economical and produces a higher level of
Parts of the electric drive motor in Prius are used as core parts of the electric inverter compressor to enhance
efficiency of the air-conditioning system.