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Old 09-27-2014, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Digit's Daihatsu-HiJet solar-dream intro

hi

about a year ago, i bought a daihatsu hijet mpv with plans to eventually turn it into a solar powered van, as funds (and/or ability) permit. inspired by a bedford rascal solar [+ wind] powered van conversion i had seen, i thought since it managed great range and power with just a small strip of solar on the roof, i wondered how much more could be achieved with the entire bodywork being solar (having seen the existence of solar paint). i even wondered about a fancy origami wind turbines that would pop up from the roof when parked.

lots of wild ideas... who knows what will come of this.

due to some metaphorical bumps in the road, funds and health have hampered progress in this direction further.

hopefully signing up here will help keep the fire lit under this idea.

the van is currently off the road (alternator or something, not sure yet). most i've ever done with it mechanically myself is change a wheel. it did get an expensive radiator the day after i bought it too.

... things like that radiator, and the cost of fuel in the uk here, also help keep the impetus to get it converted going.

my brother (who lives on another continent) converted a diesel civic (or was it an accord, i forget) to a hybrid system that could run off vegetable oil. i want to beat him, both for economy and ecology.

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Old 09-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome.

All encouragement and good luck to you.

My wife was looking over my shoulder as I read your post and she saw the Daihatsu name and screamed in my ear! "I have a Daihatsu"! If nothing else, you have a fan. Now she wants me to fix up her little Daihatsu. It's in back of the Fab shop. With cats living in it. I'm allergic to cats.

Again, welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
"Welcome aboard"...sounds like some ambitious plans!
thanks.
probably too ambitious for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
All encouragement and good luck to you.

My wife was looking over my shoulder as I read your post and she saw the Daihatsu name and screamed in my ear! "I have a Daihatsu"! If nothing else, you have a fan. Now she wants me to fix up her little Daihatsu. It's in back of the Fab shop. With cats living in it. I'm allergic to cats.

Again, welcome to the forum.
when i had it temporarily converted to a campervan, my cat sneaked into the shed when i had left its driver side sliding door open once, stayed the night there when the shed door got closed. next morning as i peered into the open sliding door, i found a happily snuggled cat and a small lake of vomit on the mattress. it seems cats love Daihatsus.

i too am a bit allergic to cats. if i had to deal with a cat infested Daihatsu, i'd need a full haz-mat suit, and some kind of disinfecting shampoo vacuum scrub tool.

thanks again.

---


i've just been out doing a diagnostic ( daihatsuhijet.co.uk/hijet-diagnostic-engine-warning-light-flash-codes ) on it. got 52, 52. not 54 as i might have expected given how it wont start and had been bump started after not starting too.

... looks like progress is starting to be made after (half) clearing it out last week.
"progress" at least in getting it back to being a running petrol guzzler.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe you should just jump into building instead of fixing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digit View Post
thanks.


... looks like progress is starting to be made after (half) clearing it out last week.
"progress" at least in getting it back to being a running petrol guzzler.
Can you source a diesel engine that can run on veggie oil? Here in California, we have an abundance of good, running Mercedes 240 diesels that easily function on used oil. There are threads on this and other forums of people putting them in vans and other vehicles. I don't know at what level your do it yourself skills are at, but this might give you a basis for a running Eco-vehicle.

Then you can include an electric drive train in the future to start your sun power gathering!
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Apart from the Daihatsu's own 3-cyl 1.0L CD engine, the only other one that I can recall that is nearly plug n' play in the Hijet is the Peugeot TUD4 which was used in the Piaggio Porter, a license-made badge-engineered version of the Hijet. The downside is that both these engines being IDI, they're not so tollerant to frequent stop-starts. But might fare reasonably with vegetable oil-based fuels.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think I know the solar van you're referring to:



Yes?

Used to live at solarvan.co.uk, which is now defunct (Pete went for 1st gen Insight tinkering instead.)

If so, note the solar/wind was only to trickle the battery pack, which relied on conventional grid recharging in normal use.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I think I know the solar van you're referring to:



Yes?

Used to live at solarvan.co.uk, which is now defunct (Pete went for 1st gen Insight tinkering instead.)

If so, note the solar/wind was only to trickle the battery pack, which relied on conventional grid recharging in normal use.
yup. that's the one. i recall being impressed by how much distance he got for how much charge, more than i thought it would. enough to make me think if all surface area was used to convert the light hitting it into usable energy... ideally have it able to run off just sunlight hitting it as it drives along at traffic flow speeds, but i've little illusions/expectation of achieving that, it's just an ideal to orient toward. sunlight during day, distance expected to travel... getting enough out for the power needed... that's easily in the realms of achievable.


i've been a bit x with my plans for this. various projects delayed by various ailments. have been using it only minimally, so ... that's a bit eco i suppose. getting bike fixed too... even more eco.
no new daihatsu modification action to report. yet.

sry if any of that didnt make sence. it's very late, i'm very tired.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, when I saw the initial post in this thread was from 2014, I was sure it was an orphan.

Spray- or roll-on photovoltaic coatings may be in the future, but not anytime soon and not for people like us. It will be a pretty sophisticated process requiring careful application.

That said, I recall having seen video of a VW bus with a solar roof on. The roof extended a foot or two to the fore and aft. It won't provide enough power to drive with traffic, but it will reduce the load while in motion and top up the batteries when parked. It's on YouTube somewhere.

The smaller size and lighter weight of the HiJet just means the panels and batteries will have less to do, and maybe you can get by with smaller (cheaper) batteries and motor.

I fantasize about something along the lines of a Velorex, a super-lightweight framework with minimalist covering to keep the weight down even further. A solar roof on that would get even more done if it was only for low-speed city use.
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Last edited by elhigh; 06-02-2016 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Turtle

the dream is still alive, and so am i (phew, rough year).

started off again with some simple websearching. and saw some unfinished email correspondence about this from just before the year from hell, so am trying to reconnect and re-engage. saw an interesting pagio porter electric conversion amid the searches ( winlow.co.uk/html/ev_conversion.html ). it seemed quite thorough. with perseverance, i might even be able to follow it as a guide (even though mine's a decade older). ~ various logistical challenges involved, that i've backspaced over realising that will spill endlessly into a lot of drivel about my life that's not all that interesting or relevant to e.v. n such. some of it gives me excuse for no progress on this yet, some of it necessitates fixes that encourage conversion.

the ol hijet's still been having its moments, needing parts and so on. so if it's in the age range of "classic cars" (it's about 27 years old) and all the maintenance requirements that entails, then i might as well be maintaining something worth maintaining, rather than feeling guilty for poisoning the environment while travelling in it, and poisoning myself while filling it up (who wants to huff fumes? not me), and feeling like a fool funding it with every inefficient petroleum mile.

i think it was 2004 i bought my roll-able solar "panel", when buckyball/nano-tubule tech was fresh on the market. same stuff that can make up solar paint. if the paint itself is still not a marketed product, i wonder how hard it would be to make my own. ... and yes, i do get a kick out of the kudos that'd present, making my own nano-technology. lol. a mere layer of paint would weigh far less than bulky attachments, could cover the surface area more efficiently catching the light more no matter the angle and having higher shallow angle efficiency, and wouldnt present any further drag, (edit: and even add an extra layer of protection? ~ idk, maybe not itself, but might need another protective varnish layer, same result, extra bonus protection for an ageing classic car). even if i dont get that far, i still like that even roll-out solar products attached would be less weight and drag than a larger voltaic rig chosen for the blunt stats of light-to-electricity efficiency per surface area, at optimal angle. which could still be chosen and used along with roll-up/paint taking up the gaps elsewhere.

i look at the regular paint on vehicles, and it bothers me. that space, wasted, when paint-on solar power technology has existed as a thing, and is in products, since at least 2004 (iirc).

anyway, i shant ramble on any more for now. just popped by to state the dream's alive, n here's to hoping 2018 doesnt kick me down like 2017 did.

a new mug exists in our house. on it reads words to the effect of:

when a man says he'll do something, he'll do it. you dont need to remind him every six months.

yep.

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