Toyota Rav4 EV Forum

Flexible solar panels?
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Author:  betatest3 [ Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Flexible solar panels?

Has anyone put flexible solar panels on the roof of their cars?

I have 2 ideas that would use them.

1.) One or more flexible solar panels would be used to keep the 12v battery charged, useful if the car is sitting dormant for a while, stops the battery from going dead from accessory usage, and could help function as a camping type thing so you can run an inverter off of the 12v battery. If I did this, I would want to put in a beefier battery, maybe a LiFePO4 12v 60Ah, then I could make the most of my solar energy, use it with an inverter.

2.) Multiple solar panels on the roof, they would go to a 24v to 400v DC-DC converter and help keep the battery charged up during long periods of time. One would probably only get 250 watts maximum from this setup, but during the summer it would take a bite out of the power used by the air conditioner, and since sunlight is being put into the battery, it is not heating up the cabin as much in the first place, which further helps the air conditioner. So, it would not increase range much, but it would reduce air conditioner and accessory loads.

Author:  Kedaresuv [ Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Flexible solar panels?

I've had the same idea about solar charging to reduce air conditioning draw on the power. You could do it and let us know how it all pans out

Author:  n3ckf [ Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Flexible solar panels?

I had another vehicle where i used a "non-flexible" 18watt solar panel to charge the 12v battery in the car (it was a diesel vehicle). It worked really well. THat vehicle was set up for radios so it had a 12volt line for the battery exposed inside the vehicle so i just wired the solar controller into that.

If you do this, you need to use a controller (not just a solar panel) because the solar panel will otherwise cook the 12v battery.

Its hard to get *enough* solar onto a car to make a different in propulsion/ac though. For trickle charging the battery its easy but 1 kilowatt of solar is actually bigger than the roof of the car. (assuming you could attach it somehow)

Author:  jimbo69ny [ Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Flexible solar panels?

I looked into this when I was new to EV's and PHEV's. I thought they made sense. Unfortunately they arent worth the money. Solar panels dont put out enough power to charge the EV battery. I thought I could install one to charge the 12v battery so the EV battery doesnt have to but after running the numbers it was a HUGE waste of money.

I wish I had better news but I dont. Its not worth it.

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