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Old 11-28-2007, 10:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,337

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,106
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When people read about this, one of the first questions that inevitably comes up is: "can you just use a solar panel?"

Short answer: not really (for reasons of cost & potential aerodynamic penalties).

If you drive a normal amount, it will cost you a lot of money to get enough panels to keep your battery topped up, and you'll probably destroy your car's aerodynamics mounting them on top .

The only reason I can get away with solar recharging is because I don't use my car very much (less than 200 miles in May). It could easily take a couple of days for my panel to replace the electricity I use from the battery in half an hour of driving.

The panel I have is equivalent to a 1 amp trickle charger, and it cost $160 CDN (I got it to keep a boat battery charged):

http://tinyurl.com/fw77y

A typical electric battery charger "trickle" setting is 2 A (twice the power of my panel), and they cost a fraction of what solar panels cost.
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EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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