misterbleepy
Posts: 190
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:53 am
Location: Newquay, Cornwall, UK

Re: Solar panel charging

Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:10 am

Astonman2 wrote:Charging stations are not yet popular in the UK unless you live in London so a long journey would have to be planned in advance or carry a 5KW petrol generator in the boot to charge up on the road side :lol: Defeats the object of having a green car a bit. :twisted:


Whereabouts in the UK are you?
Ecotricity run a national network of rapid chargers (chademo) and many service stations on the motorway network have 1 or more of these.
http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/our-electric-highway
And there are a few other networks offering both rapid and conventional 240v 3.3kw+ charging, so it's not a complete charging desert out there.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a link to another forum here - there is a well subscribed UK EV forum that covers UK charging issues very well - it's called SpeakEV if you want to search for it.
Saying that, this is definitely the place to be for specific i-MiEV (plus Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero) topics :-)
Keith B.
driving with the power of 15.667 kettles

PV1
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Re: Solar panel charging

Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:59 am

Astonman2 wrote:I have a small domestic inverter which I was going to use which takes 12-30 volts dc in and gives up to 1KW AC 240 volts out depending on the dc current input. As ponted out earlier, I didn't think about the "island" protection built in to stop the inverter trying to supply the whole neighborhood in the event of a mains power outage, so it would be useless to connect straight to the car as no mains voltage would be detected hence it would shut down. A simple camping style inverter might work that is available to power mains devices from your 12 volt car battery as they are cheap to buy now. I have a wall mounted 5 KW inverter for a domestic solar systems but I am unable to try it as it needs 100-200 volts dc input to fire up and I don't have enough solar panels yet to use it :cry: Maybe I should stick to trying to supplement my household electricity to cut the bill down when charging the car.

Yep, a grid-tied inverter will not work as a standalone power source. You need to have an Off-grid power inverter, preferably a pure sine wave unit and not a modified sine wave.

I still don't have my iMiev yet as the vendor had not used it for a while and the batteries were flat. She charged them up and entered the wrong immobiliser code which locked her out :oops: The car has been trailered to the nearest main dealer to be re-programmed ! At least it will have a new 12 volt aux. battery as this was ruined by lack of charge and of course the car won't work if this is no good ?

Another question I have : Is it possible to replace individual failed cells in the main traction battery pack ? I fix devices that use Li-ion batteries and one cell failing can ruin the whole pack.
Can you extend the range of the car by fitting more cells ? Charging stations are not yet popular in the UK unless you live in London so a long journey would have to be planned in advance or carry a 5KW petrol generator in the boot to charge up on the road side :lol: Defeats the object of having a green car a bit. :twisted:

That sucks. While you must know what you are doing and understand the risks of working near 360 volts DC with no overcurrent protection, then yes, an individual cell can be replaced, and has been done by a forum member already. If you look around, there is a time-lapse video of the process. I believe it is in the thread "Battery only charging halfway".

I read a few years ago there were companies in the USA that would convert your Prius to plug in charging with a larger extra battery pack and hack the software to increase the electric mode speed to about 60mph instead of up to 30mph on the standard car. The battery pack had built in fire extinguishers which sounded a bit scarey. Are there any mods like this for the iMiev or maybe I should read other posts in the Forum while waiting for my iMiev to be delivered :geek:

No-one here has attempted to increase the capacity of the main battery, so we don't know if re-packing the battery with higher capacity cells will allow an increased range due to the functions of the BMS. What has been proven to extend the range is to add an auxiliary battery pack. This is a second pack made up of 88 cells or groups of cells wired in series to match the pack voltage and charge/discharge characteristics. Although there are no communication connections between an aux. pack and the car, the car simply sees the aux. pack as either reduced energy consumption or regen because of where the pack ties into the high voltage bus. This also means that you must have contactors disconnecting the aux pack, both positive and negative connections, at the same time as the main pack's positive contactor breaks the connection. This is actually not that complicated, as the driver for the main pack + contactor can also drive both aux. pack contactors. This way, the pack automatically connects for driving and charging, but disconnects when the car is off. The design of the i-MiEV powertrain has the main battery disconnect all external power when the car is off with a resistor to discharge the high voltage components. If the aux. pack stays connected while the car is off, this discharge circuit may try to discharge the aux. pack to 0 volts, which would destroy the pack, if the resistor doesn't burn out first. To try to keep this on topic (as there are a number of threads relating to different range extending methods), it is rather difficult to put panels on the roof of the car and get the voltage boosted to the pack's voltage. It could be done, but with the smallish roof of the i-MiEV, you'd be better off to put four 280 watt solar panels on your house with micro-inverters, then charge the car normally. You can still do an aux. pack for extended range. Having the panels on your house would also allow any generated solar power that wasn't used for the car to be put towards powering the house.

There were a few companies doing Prius conversions. I think some still are. Built-in fire extinguishers are not a bad idea. Having a lithium pack go thermal on you is not something you want to be near (phenomenon called thermal runaway. One cell suffers an internal short circuit, gets really hot, and heats up the surrounding cells enough for them to fail, eventually consuming most of the pack and anything flammable around it). I don't recall of any production EV packs suffering thermal runaway that wasn't caused by physical damage.

Genec, I also have a decal showing solar power going to the house, then to the car. When people read that it is solar-powered, everybody immediately either looks at the roof or asks where the panels are. I also have "Powered by Pennsylvania Sunlight" under the decal to help dispel the myth that my area doesn't get enough sunlight. I had to be careful how I worded it, as there once was an oil tanker called "Pennsylvania Sun". That wouldn't be good. :lol: :roll:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o9iq3clzo7wey ... l.png?dl=0
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

alegra89
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:11 am

Re: Solar panel charging

Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:24 am

Astonman2 wrote:Hi all, This is my first post. I take delivery of my 2009 model with 10000 miles on clock on Saturday 17/10/2015. Noticed the speedo reads mph but the distance recorder reads km. Strange :? I have been experimenting at home with solar residential panelsand wondered if it is possible to fix some flexible panels like used on trailers/ boats etc to the roof of the car and use a 1kw converter to charge the car ? Presumably this would only work when the car is parked & not moving. 100w panels are getting cheap now but don't want to blow anything on the car :evil: Anyone had any experience of doing this successfully ?



Hello,
Is you tried to these 100W solar panel in car ?
Then what would you experienced ?

JoeS
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Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Solar panel charging

Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:17 pm

Hello alegra89 and welcome to the forum. Might I suggest that you read all the posts in this thread in order to understand the complexity of the issue, as well as perhaps do the math to understand the really minute contribution that a 100W solar panel might have relative to the total energy required to drive the car.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

1branchonthevine
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:26 pm

Re: Solar panel charging

Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:41 am

Been researching this since we got our imiev 2 years ago... If Anyone wants more detail on how far i am, and what i know about it already, just ask.

As for power supplies, the meanwell led drivers go up to 360v and more, but your solar array will have to have a series output of 127vdc or more to drive it. I'm in the process of making a custom stacked rooftop solar array. Although it wouldn't output much wattage, it is more for fun and concept than necessity.

Good luck!

JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Solar panel charging

Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:09 am

1branchonthevine wrote:Been researching this since we got our imiev 2 years ago... If Anyone wants more detail on how far i am, and what i know about it already, just ask.
As for power supplies, the meanwell led drivers go up to 360v and more, but your solar array will have to have a series output of 127vdc or more to drive it. I'm in the process of making a custom stacked rooftop solar array. Although it wouldn't output much wattage, it is more for fun and concept than necessity.
Good luck!
Thanks for your post and always interested in harvesting solar and its wide-ranging voltages and then being able to feed directly into a high voltage battery such as our i-MiEV's. Here are the specs for the two Meanwell LED drivers you pointed at in the other post:
http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/260/meanwell_HLG-320H-C-spec-914652.pdf
https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/260/HVGC-150-spec-238292.pdf
Please, do tell us about your progress as you dabble in this area.
Cross-reference to the other solar thread:
http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=533
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

pbui19
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:17 pm

Re: Solar panel charging

Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:43 pm

Given that PV panels and inverters prices are definitely getting better and better; I am thinking of adding some panels diy but don't want to hassle with permit and inspection etc... I recently found a local distributor so I wouldn't have to pay shipping.

One option is to do an "off-grid/standalone" configuration and use the iMiev pack sort of like a poor man Tesla Power Off. My current thinking is to hook up some panels to a DC charge controller to charge a small Ahr lead pack, may 2 or 4 of these cheapy Marine from Walmart

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Ma ... C/20531539

I believe these are 105Ah each. The idea is to use the lead to smooth out the variable nature of solar, and invert the 24/48vdc to 240-vac to charge the iMiev on level 2.

Still have to work out the details how to prevent discharge the lead too low. In fact, the iMiev probably should only get charged when it's sunny.

To pull the juice back out, the simplest way is probably to use the 12vdc-120vac inverter to charge the other EV at level 1 overnight.

any thought, comments, suggestions are most welcomed and very much appreciated....

thanks, pb

jray3
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Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Solar panel charging

Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:53 pm

One thing that regularly using a lead-acid EV has driven home is the inefficiency of that charge-discharge cycle. It takes 50% more energy (wall-to-wheels) to recharge the lead car after my commute than it does MR BEAN. Of course up to half of those xtra losses are in the heavier vehicle and less-efficient drivetrain, but I'm not planning to purchase any more lead, especially for deep cycle applications. You'd be better off using grid tie micro inverters and then charging off the grid. If battery backup is desirable, float charge them from the grid, but avoid unnecessary cycles. If not getting a permit or hiring an electrician is your priority, going "guerilla solar" is easier and safer than ever thanks to micro inverters, even if using a "suicide plug", as the micros will only output power after sensing a healthy grid connection.

I have an 1850 Watt PV array that is grid tied, but the same box contains a mppt charger keeping 48V of lead topped off. If the grid goes down, I'll have 3000 Watts (8.16 kWh) of backup power that can be replenished by solar during an extended outage. :mrgreen:
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 76,000 miles
i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

pbui19
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:17 pm

Re: Solar panel charging

Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:53 am

We have already have a 5kw grid-tie system and am just toying with the idea of adding more panels. The easier and most cost effective way would be to slap on additional panels with micro-inverter grid-tied. Since our address is already permitted for solar production, it ought to work just fine; though technically we would still need to go through the inspection/permit process.

Yes, lead is quite inefficient and short lived. But I was thinking of using the lead as a buffer to the larger iMiev pack, sort of like caching. The idea is to keep the lead pack cycling shallow and pass the cycling to the iMiev pack. But using the lead buffer in between and converting to AC voltage, I don't have to deal with BMS for the iMiev pack.

Like your 48v set up, you can keep the 48v SOC up by charging it from the iMiev pack. And when the 48v lead is full and sunny, have the 48v charges the iMiev ?

It is not the most efficient path way for sure; I like to build a car port and thought to cover it with PV panels.

PatrykS
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Solar panel charging

Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:18 am

jsantala wrote:The problem is that the least you can set the car's charger is 6 amps. It's a little conservative, so it tries to draw 5.5 amps. At 230 volts that's 1265 watts. You can't make it draw any less.
Actually you can - just use 110V and it cuts the power to half while still 6A requirement is met.
Opel Ampera 2012 and wife's Mitsubishi i-MiEV 2011

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