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

MallBrawler

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The solar panels on your roof once installed become part of the "grid" to where if you use less than the production the power is pushed back to the grid and your meter will spin backwards.

What makes these panels pay back VERY quickly is if you utilize net metering - which is to minimize electrical usage in the say so most power is fed back to the utilities, at peak rate. And at night, buy the electricity at off-peak, and that's when you'll do the charging, etc.

I suspect a super quick payback for wranglers... When it comes to solar panel investment. I dare to say that my JL on 37's is costing almost 0.25/mile of fuel... So driving a conservative 10k miles a year that's $2500 of gas savings... No joke indeed.
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The solar panels on your roof once installed become part of the "grid" to where if you use less than the production the power is pushed back to the grid and your meter will spin backwards.

What makes these panels pay back VERY quickly is if you utilize net metering - which is to minimize electrical usage in the say so most power is fed back to the utilities, at peak rate. And at night, buy the electricity at off-peak, and that's when you'll do the charging, etc.

I suspect a super quick payback for wranglers... When it comes to solar panel investment. I dare to say that my JL on 37's is costing almost 0.25/mile of fuel... So driving a conservative 10k miles a year that's $2500 of gas savings... No joke indeed.
Pete, I don't know if this is a Federal or State thing, but I've heard (not by the way that this in any way thwarts your "utility by day, solar by night" idea) that we're limited on what the utility will credit us with, to no more than what we use from them.

Thoughts?
 

MallBrawler

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Pete, I don't know if this is a Federal or State thing, but I've heard (not by the way that this in any way thwarts your "utility by day, solar by night" idea) that we're limited on what the utility will credit us with, to no more than what we use from them.

Thoughts?
The good thing is that incentives are offered by various state, municipal and federal govt's. The bad thing is that it takes a long time to research, and that these incentives change all the time... I'm on the "net metering" which will give me that $0.4/kwh credit if the meter rolls back during peak hour, while only charging me ~$0.1/kwh if i charge my car during off peak hours. So yeah, you'll have to do research to see if what your city/county/utility provider will offer.

On my end, this came out to around a $14k investment 7 years ago which zero'd out a $1000/yr electric bill, and, on my daily driver (EV), 100k miles of driving, powered by my panels. Assume that fuel cost is $0.2/mile, my return on $14k investment can be as high as $27k depending on how you calculate it.
 

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The good thing is that incentives are offered by various state, municipal and federal govt's. The bad thing is that it takes a long time to research, and that these incentives change all the time... I'm on the "net metering" which will give me that $0.4/kwh credit if the meter rolls back during peak hour, while only charging me ~$0.1/kwh if i charge my car during off peak hours. So yeah, you'll have to do research to see if what your city/county/utility provider will offer.

On my end, this came out to around a $14k investment 7 years ago which zero'd out a $1000/yr electric bill, and, on my daily driver (EV), 100k miles of driving, powered by my panels. Assume that fuel cost is $0.2/mile, my return on $14k investment can be as high as $27k depending on how you calculate it.
Another less than directly monetized benefit is--at least for those putting their energy into batteries and then pulling it later--to have an energy source during utility outages--weather permitting. :)
 

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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.
I just added solar panels to our roof mounted system. Based on the amount of miles I drive, they should provide about 80% of the electricity I need. Keep in mind a typical 3'x6' roof panel is about 320 watts max, may average 1.5 kilowatts per day on a year round basis. So on average, 10 panels should charge the Jeep by my rough math. In the dead of winter I'm only getting about half that production.
 

xjgary

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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.



You could just nurse the throttle and get that extra range. Their estimates are on the EPA cycle which is reasonable, but beatable.
 

xjgary

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He won't be moving the vehicle as he wants to do this while camping. An ARB refrigerator uses 0.89 amps per hour. A couple of 20 amp light bulbs at night for 4 hours and you are done. He asked if a 100 watt solar cell would recharge what he used. The ARB will use 21.36 amps. two 20 watt led lights at 12 volts are 3.333 amps x 4 hours is 13 amps. Total amp hours are 34.692. That is 416.3 watts. If you have 10 hours of direct sunlight you need a solar panel that produces 41.6 watts. So yes, a 100 watt panel on his roof will do the job, especially if he rotates it to catch direct sun. All he is trying to do is replenish his battery, not drive it.
 

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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.
I have solar panels which is part of the reason I bought a 4xE. My panels are over-producing electricity so why not use it myself instead of selling it back to the electric company? Just plug it into a wall socket and use the energy.
 

pdpardue

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This is a topic that comes up often when people are talking about electric cars, and the short of it is that while theoretically it is possible to charge an EV by solar in practice it's a house solar system sized PV array that's fundamentally not practical to carry with you and not something that you could like strap on your roof rack and expect to get you much extra range.

I know people with EV's and they have a 100% solar powered house and yes they are able to charge their car from solar but only while plugged into their system at home. Not on the road
 

ArnoldSteven

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I will agree with Pdpardue, the solar panel installations are very big and weigh something, it will be over the roof of the car if we talk about powerful enough to charge the car. I can think only about some stations with solar panels from where we can charge the car, but if we talk something you can carry on, it can e a trailer with folded panels and underneath they will have the batteries and you could use the trailer only when you are not moving. I have in my house solar panels from bates-electric.com, they started last year to pay off and to produce enough energy for the house and for maybe charging the car, but I don't have a converter for the car yet.
 
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xjgary

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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....
But she isn't going anywhere, just sitting in a campground. for a few days. How much power does it take to run a few LED lights and an ARB 12v refrigerator? The shape of the sitting vehicle does not matter.
 
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