Any Way to Charge 4xe Batteries with a Solar Panel?

robynE

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Ok, this might be the dumbest question ever, but I was looking at solar panels for charging up my RV batteries when boondocking, and it just popped into my mind that I wonder if there is a way to use a solar panel (with charge controller of course) to charge the onboard Jeep 4xe batteries? I was thinking one of those 100w flexible solar panels, like Renogy, just laying up on the roof while I'm camping.





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Karnak

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Dont quote me on this, but I read/heard somewhere that the new 4xe will only accept alternating current charging which in this case would prohibit Solar panels as I beleive they're all direct current. I'm sure at some point you will see aftermarket products for it but it'll take a bit of time probably for solar stuff I assume because of the low vendor numbers currently for jeep solar specific products.

I'll add that it'll probably be easily doable if you don't mind a big of hacking the wiring yourself since the new 4xe batteries are probably direct current, just need to tap into them and route to your panel.

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/...d-2021-wrangler-4xe-talks-batterys-ac-system/

Some manufacturer sells a hood stick on panel already for the JL model, may want to check into that.

Taken from a vendor website: 80W panel
1607310049101.png
 
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robynE

robynE

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You know, now that you mention that, I remember hearing in one of the various promo videos they released that said 12V charging wasn't an option because "it wasn't needed." I disagree! hahaha. It would be great to put a flexible panel up on the roof while camped out. I'm glad you posted, because I never would have remembered that on my own!! I'm definitely not going to hack into anything, but I'm definitely going to check the link though for the stick on one. I can still use the Jeep for a mounting location for a panel to charge my trailer. Cool. Thanks.
 

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As someone with 15+ years in the solar business ill say that unless you’re hauling 10-12 panels with you, which would require a trailer, it will take your entire trip to charge it. Carry gas it’s far far more efficient to do so
 

Karnak

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You know, now that you mention that, I remember hearing in one of the various promo videos they released that said 12V charging wasn't an option because "it wasn't needed." I disagree! hahaha. It would be great to put a flexible panel up on the roof while camped out. I'm glad you posted, because I never would have remembered that on my own!! I'm definitely not going to hack into anything, but I'm definitely going to check the link though for the stick on one. I can still use the Jeep for a mounting location for a panel to charge my trailer. Cool. Thanks.
Cascadia is the maker of the stick-on hood one I posted. the link I provided above was just general info on the charging system etc.
 
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robynE

robynE

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As someone with 15+ years in the solar business ill say that unless you’re hauling 10-12 panels with you, which would require a trailer, it will take your entire trip to charge it. Carry gas it’s far far more efficient to do so
Thanks Solar Wizard! You're the expert, so I will stick with my inverter generator to charge up my rv battery. I was just trying to go more green while camping in a state park and maybe top off the Jeep batteries. No sense spending money on a panel if its not going to do much!
 
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robynE

robynE

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Cascadia is the maker of the stick-on hood one I posted. the link I provided above was just general info on the charging system etc.
Thanks. I figured that out after I clicked the link but then wasn't where to find the stick on panel.
 

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As this model can, in theory, be charged off of a standard home 110 A/C outlet, at least in theory, solar panels could be hooked up to a charge controller and then an inverter which changes the power to the A/C that a home outlet could provide.

Regardless of where you get your 110 power from, such charging is very slow and not practical for everyday charging while at rest--but I imagine your goal is just to put back some of the current in your batteries, not get the juice out of the wall charger that Jeep links you to at their website, available on Amazon.

I imagine the charging is very slow and like @SolarWizard said, I'd guess your biggest BTU's/weight likes in carrying extra gasoline.
 
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robynE

robynE

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Yea, trying to charge a 12volt device with solar panels is a slow process at best, so converting the 12volt to AC power is going to render the solar panel pretty much useless.
 

Chris Hall

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It's a great idea but the practicality becomes the question. Like @SolarWizard said up above, to create enough power to get any real benefit, you'd have to have a pretty big setup. The return on investment makes it a difficult proposition. To make it big enough to get any substantial charge, it would require a pretty large investment. To do it well, you'd need to run a 200 volt inverter so you could do level 2 charging. The amount of panels needed would be pretty significant.
 

Chris Hall

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One of the issues that comes in to play when trying to do on-board charging of and EV from solar is the amount of energy that is able to be produced from the surface area of the vehicle and the power consumption of the vehicle. The Wrangler 4XE will not be terribly efficient due to its shape and weight. Also, there just isn't enough surface area to place a lot of panels.

As an example, I have attached a picture of an Aptera. This is how they answered the issues mentioned up above. This is a composite vehicle with three wheels. The shape of the vehicle is all about efficiency and not about form. This is what it takes to make a vehicle light enough and with a good enough drag coefficient to make solar charging a plausible concept. They are saying that they can get 40 miles of charge per day of full sunlight.

Screen Shot 2020-12-07 at 1.24.52 PM.png
 

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100 watt capacity solar would only add 1kw per day to a 17.3 kw battery assuming 10 hours of sunlight....basically 1.5 miles of range per day....
 
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robynE

robynE

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Its a shame that solar power hasn't advanced any more than it has. I've been interested in solar power for at least 15 years, but I still don't see it as being very viable for average easy daily use that really mounts up without a significant financial investment which negates its benefit.
 

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Its a shame that solar power hasn't advanced any more than it has. I've been interested in solar power for at least 15 years, but I still don't see it as being very viable for average easy daily use that really mounts up without a significant financial investment which negates its benefit.
it’s gotten 4x as good in my tenure but it’s close to maxed out. It’s the time to get it on houses.
it’s unlikely that it will ever work well enough to count on remote charging a vehicle in a timely manner
 

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