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Old 10-15-2014, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The best option for your off-the-grid EV?

A turnkey EV autonomous renewable charger system, Envision Solar's EV ARC. A (still too expensive) 40K-55K setup but it is designed to collect, store electricity and to be totally independent from the grid (no powerplant carbon contribution). It does not require many regulatory installation requirements of a permanent & conventional charging station. It is designed to fit in a standard 9' x 16' parking spot. An adjustable tilt overhead solar panel roof is attached to a steel plate on the ground. No foundation required and could be easily relocated. The array collects electricity throughout the day to charge an integrated lithium-ion battery pack (fully charged, 22.5 kilowatt hours), serves also as ballast for the structure. The battery capacity may not fully charge but enough to 'top off' a typical EV. Plans from municipalities (Fed incentives expired) are offering grants and tax deductions could bring the price down and they even plan lease programs. Rationale, self-sustaining and independence. Envision Solar Corporate Overview on Vimeo


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Old 10-15-2014, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, all we need now is wireless charging! I like the idea a lot and hopefully the cost will be low in 10 years.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The best option for an off-the-grid EV is one that only uses a fraction of the energy of a typical car!



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Old 10-15-2014, 11:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Each one of these would require some where around a 1000lb to a ton of lead acid batteries and a solar tracker that will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.

I have stated before that each daily mile you want to support driving with grid tied solar is some where around $400 to $500 per mile, this breaks the bank at around $1000 per mile.

Then when it gets hit by lightning, replace everything, to include the vehicle plugged into it. Because the scenario they present is "set it on the ground and plug a vehicle to it and forgetaboutit" because permitting and codes don't apply to this device (as is with any new thing).

So saving money clearly is not the goal and environmental concerns are absent, safety maybe an afterthought.

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Wow, all we need now is wireless charging! I like the idea a lot and hopefully the cost will be low in 10 years.
The EV1 had semi wireless charging with that paddle charger and it sucked. Because air core transformers are grossly inefficient. It will work with something tiny like an iphone but it doesn't scale up so well.

Don't expect this to get much cheaper in the future. The cost of lead has gone up 3x to 4x in the last 10-15 years, steel had doubled and the rare earth elements used in the solar panels are becoming harder to get due to increasing demand. Also china is cutting off the rest of the word from most of its rare earths in 2016.

So if any one is thinking about doing anything big with solar panels you might want to do it next year or not at all.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Each one of these would require some where around a 1000lb to a ton of lead acid batteries and a solar tracker that will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.
They are using "integrated lithium-ion battery pack" not lead acid.
The tracker looks fairly heavy duty, it would have to be considering the size of the array it is going to move. It is possible that their tracker is over engineered enough to last longer than 5 to 10 years.

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I have stated before that each daily mile you want to support driving with grid tied solar is some where around $400 to $500 per mile, this breaks the bank at around $1000 per mile.
I have a 4.5kW grid tied (interactive) setup at home which has been running for a couple of years and the daily average over that time has been 17.4kWH produced per day. My EV battery pack won't even come close to requiring that much energy. So the excess will be sold to the grid.
The solar inverter pumps the electricity into the grid during the day and the EV will take back what it needs when charging overnight. So more energy goes into the grid than comes back out. Financially this works out even more in my favour as the amount paid by the grid during the day is a lot more per kWH than what it costs at night with the off-peak electricity rates.
Yes there was the initial outlay to pay for the set up and the installation but i am about 12 months from recouping the entire cost. Return on investment is 30%. I don't think there are many investments that give a guaranteed 30% return. Also once the cost is fully recouped i will still have the system so i will be ahead by the depreciated value of the system. I haven't even factored in the reduction in cost from using electricity rather than petrol in the car.

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Then when it gets hit by lightning, replace everything, to include the vehicle plugged into it. Because the scenario they present is "set it on the ground and plug a vehicle to it and forgetaboutit" because permitting and codes don't apply to this device (as is with any new thing).
You are correct, lightning would be a risk. Especially without a protective earth connection. They didn't give specific details on the earthing but they did imply that the unit is just dumped in place and it is fully self contained.
To quote their web site "Mounted on an attractive, ballasted pad, the EV ARCô does not require any foundations, trenching, electrical upgrades or even a building permit. It is 100% self-contained and is delivered to the site ready to use on itís own undercarriage. Deployment time is about 5 minutes instead of several weeks for a traditional, grid tied EV charger."

Even so, I sure wouldn't complain if they wanted to put one in my driveway.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There is nothing wrong with grid tied.
I just think its absurd to do all that off grid stuff when there are power lines and service drops all around.

I didn't hear the part about it having lithium batteries and figured it had lead acid since its "counter weighted" and looks like it needs tens of thousands of pounds of counter weighting.
Having lithium is even worse, its light, more expensive, LiFePO4 sucks in the cold (if that's what they are using) and its not currently recyclable.

Smartest thing to do is put lead acid in very slow moving (fork lift, golf cart) or stationary monolithic formations (like this) and put Lithium chemistry in the smaller things that stop, go and move around a lot.

I like the part about how they say "it wont be affected by grid outage". That is hilarious. Every single person with an EV will be thinking the exact same thing when the power goes out. And that is to get down to the solar charger. Then a huge line will develop.
So power outage means the solar charger will be over loaded and sucked dry as the sun goes down.
Something like the gas lines of the 1970s oil embargo and energy crisis.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
...
I didn't hear the part about it having lithium batteries and figured it had lead acid since its "counter weighted" and looks like it needs tens of thousands of pounds of counter weighting.
Having lithium is even worse, its light, more expensive, LiFePO4 sucks in the cold (if that's what they are using) and its not currently recyclable...
To look at it the weight appears to be very near the supporting post. Maybe too near. So maybe when they say ballasted they don't mean just the batteries. Which i presume are housed in that big white box at the bottom of the supporting post. Maybe that large area that the car sits on is hollow and filled with water or something once on site.
They wouldn't put the batteries under the car would they? I would imagine the cold really getting to them if they were, the surface area is huge. Maybe some sort of heating to keep the batteries safe?
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Filling it with water isn't the best plan, it will freeze and burst what ever is trying to contain it.
If they are going to use lithium I think they would use a more cold friendly lithium recipe than LiFePO4.
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My recollection of what I'd read elsewhere is that the "attractive, ballasted pad" is a steel plate that weighs 5500lb. Probably to resist overturning in the wind. I see an inelegant solution to doing an end run around government regulation.

I know solar is popular, but I think the 'best option' would be Moon (i.e., tidal) power.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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5,500lb is an incredibly wasteful use of steel but a good start as far as the weight goes.

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Last edited by oil pan 4; 10-18-2014 at 01:39 PM..
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