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Old 04-25-2017, 06:37 AM   #61 (permalink)
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How much mileage do you put on your car? I see you mentioned a 12 mile round trip to work. Seems like pulling belts and buying deep cycle batteries might be way more trouble than it is worth. I like the idea of just going with a switchable alternator. Wire it so that it will charge when a brake light is on, with a bypass so you can go to normal charge mode on longer highway drives with no braking.

Also, if it is just 6 miles to work, I highly recommend you buy yourself a good bicycle and start bike commuting. 6 miles is just enough to get the heart rate up for a few minutes and it will make you feel better all day.

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Old 04-25-2017, 10:36 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c View Post
I like the idea of just going with a switchable alternator. Wire it so that it will charge when a brake light is on, with a bypass so you can go to normal charge mode on longer highway drives with no braking.
Wiring it to engage whenever the throttle pedal is released also sounds good, since it would increase the effectiveness of engine-braking and eventually lead to a reduction on brake wear.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:50 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Agreed... I don't use my brakes much as they are energy robbers. Oh... I don't bike to work as I drive my daughter to school... and it's not a bike friendly route.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:33 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Ideally you want a very small dead zone in the beginning of the brakes, where it starts regen but does not activate the physical brakes.

The circuit in the other thread could be modified to increase regenerative braking with the brake pedal.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:52 PM   #65 (permalink)
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hmm.. maybe I'll look into that later.. right now got my 13 watt solar charger and controller. I think I'm going to hook it up in such a way that it only charges when my engine is not running as it seems simpler and less worry about using diodes etc to prevent any issues with current trying to run back to the panel. Maybe the controller does that already? not sure... I was thinking of putting in a new switch for my engine cut-off that would kill the engine, but then allow the solar panel to charge the car. I think a DPDT switch... I can't remember... will look it up.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:46 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Unless the charge controller does it (which it probably does), I'd stick to diodes. You only need one, and it's dead simple...as long as you get the polarity right. Otherwise, if it's dark out and the engine is off, it's going to discharge through it. Plus running a relay does take some power, if only a small amount, and if your solar panel isn't producing at that time, that's watts wasted.

Its not going to over-charge your battery if the solar panel is putting out power and the alternator is running. It will just lessen the load on the alternator. The regulators of both (assuming you use the charge controller) won't allow it.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Good news... my controller has a feature to avoid discharge when no light to power the panel. I'll have it hooked up this weekend.
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:21 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Here's my 13 Watt solar panel with controller that I just installed. Going to test it out to see how well it keeps the battery topped off. My EOC driving tends to drop the battery charge a little bit. Fully Charged is around 12.9V and after driving thru most of a tank, it drops to 12.5 or 12.6.


Last edited by Magician; 04-29-2017 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:48 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Putting a solar panel behind glass cuts output by 1/3 to 1/2.
12.9v is not high enough for a full charge.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:45 PM   #70 (permalink)
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12.9 is what my battery charges up to when I use a charger to top it off. The battery is only about 2 years old...

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