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

Gee-pah

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Hey, I know, I can mount a wind turbine to the roof! hahaha
Hey @robynE : some say the real area where advancing is need is more in the batteries that store the current that the solar panels...but I agree that for a vehcile, with limited footprint on to which to place such panels, efficiency gains would come in handy!

It's funny you mentioned a turbine on the roof. How's about one "below the fuselage."

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It's call a RAT or ram air turbine, and it's tucked away on most commercial aircraft to be cranked down in an emergency, to supply electrical power to essential aircraft systems if both the primary and backup power systems fail.

The turbine adjusts its blades to spin at a constant spin independent of plane velocity, to supply power in just the right phase for the plane's needs.





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Hasaf

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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
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Just to move the trike in the picture took two solar panels. This was my "never plug in" ride from Kansas to Utah.

Even with that much pannel, I still had to stop and read a book while recharging on one particular grade in the Rockies. The point being, I agree, there is little that a couple of solar panels are going t do to significantly increase the range of something as heavy as the Wrangler.
 

Stuff

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As someone who lives 13.1 miles from work, an extra 1.5 miles a day from solar sounds awesome. :LOL: Although realistically if I get one, I'll just run the gas engine on the freeway.
 

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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.
Solar power has significantly advanced in the past decade - it is muuuuch cheaper than it used to be on a unit basis. A decade ago, $10/watt (installed) was common, now it is about 1/3 of that price.

The first problem is that it takes a LOT of energy to move a vehicle. We don't really notice this because we are used to gasoline, which contains a LOT of energy. The battery in the Wrangler hybrid will hold enough power to run your average home for about 13 hours, yet only provides 25 miles of range. Think that through and the problem becomes rather evident.

The second problem is that solar panels that power homes, even partially, are enormous. You might fit two on a Wrangler sized vehicle, while a homeowner might fit 15-20 of them on their roof. A quality modern solar panel will produce 10 watts per square foot, per hour, meaning if you have 10 hours of full sun, a single panel will provide 10 wHrs per day. You don't get all of that though, because the power conversion process is going to bleed a lot of energy. You also won't have your panels directly facing the sun, which will drop efficiency significantly - perhaps by 1/2 or 3/4.

Physics are stubborn and currently make solar panels on vehicles a pure marketing gimmick.

As someone who lives 13.1 miles from work, an extra 1.5 miles a day from solar sounds awesome. :LOL: Although realistically if I get one, I'll just run the gas engine on the freeway.
You could just nurse the throttle and get that extra range. Their estimates are on the EPA cycle which is reasonable, but beatable.
 

MallBrawler

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They're saying it's a 17kwh battery pack, so if it's roughly ~15kwh usable it'll take probbaly 80 hours of direct sunlight for one single 2x4 solar panel to charge the battery 🤣
 

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A question (Q) and a thought (T):

(Q) Do people charge their vehicles--at least when at home--which was not the OP's original thoughts--off the solar panels on their roofs already committed to providing the household with energy?

(I guess that answer deals with whether their setup already provides more power than needed and/or can be sold back to the utility, and the cost of denying other appliances that solar energy dedicated to the electric needs of the vehicle.)

(T) between suitcase solar panels that fold up and (semi) flexible ones that are very thin, I wonder if hauling that gear to a campsite and laying it all out might put a dent in recharging a 4xe over the course of it being stationary several days for camping (likely consuming energy as well on refrigerators, etc.)

I do see the footprint of those charging stations to be quite large, but I imagine they provide for full charging capabilities of 220V fast charging. Not to mention how all that gear takes up some serious cargo space.

I'm sure this is all very expensive up front. But I've got to say, the allure of essentially free fuel thereafter (at least for short trip driving) is very alluring! :)
 

Chris Hall

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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.
Many home solar installs take something like 8 years to break even. With an average 25 year life span, that's a lot of payback down the road.
 

xjgary

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He asked..."When Camping". He said nothing about driving. So he probably only needs to power up one or two LED lights at night, recharge phones and run his 12V refrigerator, using the traction battery. So if he was going to camp in the desert for a week it would probably be possible to replace the power drained from the traction battery. I used to go to an old miner's cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mtns in my XJ. I installed a 5 watt Harbor Freight solar panel on the roof, a used 12v small marine battery and three 12 v florescent tube camp lights (one upstairs and 2 downstairs) and one curly 12v lamp light in a socket. It was very bright inside and we'd stay up until at least 11 PM. And we'd ski in in winter when the nights were long. By 10 AM the battery would be fully recharged. So with just lights, phones and refrig it should be easy. But if he's running a big stereo system, microwave, television, hairdryer, coffeemaker, then probably not.
 

Gee-pah

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Many home solar installs take something like 8 years to break even. With an average 25 year life span, that's a lot of payback down the road.
That's true as a purchaser Chris...but there are many different financial deals offered by installers.

For example, any of the guys offering you solar at no or little up front cost does so because they make money by becoming your glorified new utility provider. You pay them for the energy their systems provide you: which is lower than the utility cost but higher than the cost of the solar equipment and installation to the solar company, amortized over the life of the system.

You make less (by saving some money over utility costs) than if you owned the system, but don't have to first pay for it and reap larger benefits down the road.

Clearly, owning the gear makes you the most money adjusted for time ,but many can't afford the initial outlay and can still get some benefit to having solar on their roof.
 

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Regarding solar, that is one area I wish that our home was better situated for. I have been pleased with the solar companies around, here. I was going to buy the system outright and each said it was just not good value right now since the systems are not able to capture enough sun. The belief is that there will be panels better able to harness the lower amount of sun my roof gets in about 3-5 years.

But in this day and age of people trying to make a buck, it was nice to see some honesty. The one installer even said, "Look, I'll sell you panels if you really want, but just realize that you will not be benefitting."
 

yngrshr

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Just make a solar charging station.
envision-solar-ev-arc-solar-charging-station_100486945_l.jpg

Buy one of these:
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and a lot of these:
12v_battery_history.jpg

and one of these:
61SoKwRr6VL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

and finally one of these:
solar-panels-1477987_1920.jpg
Couldn't one run a Tesla-like power wall, though, with a battery system? I know that LG makes a lot of the power wall type systems right now. You could probably designate the charger to be one part of your grid that runs off battery power.
 

Gee-pah

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Couldn't one run a Tesla-like power wall, though, with a battery system? I know that LG makes a lot of the power wall type systems right now. You could probably designate the charger to be one part of your grid that runs off battery power.
In theory I can't imagine why this couldn't be the case.

The car charger expects electric of a certain voltage, amperage and current flow (AC/DC), and in the case of AC, "clean "AC (where when examined with a scope the current produces uniform sine waves.)

That said, whether the vehicle charger gets that from the utility, or solar panels that store that power in batteries which an inverter converts to clean AC, or a home generator with clean AC....it's all good.
 

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