Renault Designed Its Own ‘Smart Island’ In Portugal
The car company has brought in technology to make the entire island, including cars, run on wind and solar power
Car manufacturer Renault has set a plan in motion to make Madeira island of Porto Santo in Portugal unlike any other. The company brought in its products to make a ‘smart island’ that runs without fossil fuels and produces its own supply of renewable energy. These include Renault’s electric vehicle Zoe, home batteries, smart EV charging and energy storage.
The island itself is very small, with few inhabitants, but it does receive plenty of tourists. There project consists of three different phases. First, volunteers will receive their electric vehicles (Zoes and Kango Z.E. utility vans), which can be charged at stations set up by Renault. The second phase involves using the vehicles themselves to store electricity and supply storage batteries. Last but not least, older batteries from past electric vehicles will be introduced to supply homes and power grids through their connections to solar and wind power.
Renault wants to test this idea to see how smart charging through solar and wind energy can work. The data collected during this project will also be useful because the end goal is to provide a model for other cities and islands to follow.
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Bertrand is a psychiatrist and balloonist that completed the first ever non-stop balloon flight around the globe with his partner Brian Jones. His most famous endeavor is Solar Impulse, a project launched in 2003 in collaboration with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The goal was to create a solar-powered, long-range aircraft, and in 2012, the aircraft operated by Piccard and Andre Borschberg made its first intercontinental flight from Morocco to Switzerland. Piccard is currently aiming to complete the first flight around the world on solar power alone, which commenced on March 9, 2015 and will span the course of five months.