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Re: Solar panel charging

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:10 am
by misterbleepy
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.
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 :-)

Re: Solar panel charging

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:59 am
by PV1
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: ... l.png?dl=0

Re: Solar panel charging

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:24 am
by alegra89
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 ?

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

Re: Solar panel charging

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:17 pm
by JoeS
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.

Re: Solar panel charging

Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:53 am
by mia10
May I know how can we charge the rooftop solar panel??