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Old 06-22-2009, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electro-Metro Goes Solar! Kinda...

Hey Everyone!

After recently staying at a bed n breakfast with a solar-powered electric car, and then spending the entire weekend at the energy fair, I finally decided to go ahead and convert the Electro-Metro to solar - kinda.

I had a coupon for the best price I have found so far on the Harbor Freight 45 watt solar panel setup. I have purchased one and plan to start work soon to get at least SOME of the cars power from solar energy.

As with everything on this project, I am learning as I go! This is relatively cheap solar power, so at least it gets me started in my new adventures with EVs!




Hmm... Which fuel to power a car with?

By the way, the solar kit comes with 3 solar panels. I have 6 batteries in the car. 2 kits would equal one 12V panel for each battery!

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Last edited by bennelson; 06-23-2009 at 09:16 PM.. Reason: added photos
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, Ben. Have seen small panels used on Dr Larry's Geo Metro convertable. He says there maybe a mile or so increase in range, but the main thing he uses them for is to keep the electrolite moving to prevent sulfur on the plates. So they may prolong battery life, anyway. Keep us posted, and good luck. Watt
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Chevron: "Oh ya, well it's just as dirty to drive electric because of power plants!"
Chevron: "Solar... Dang you.... Well, the sun is really dangerous and hot!"
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPaulHolmes View Post
Chevron: "Oh ya, well it's just as dirty to drive electric because of power plants!"
Chevron: "Solar... Dang you.... Well, the sun is really dangerous and hot!"
Oh boy, I can just see that one in the paper tomorrow! Watt
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ben, this is a great idea. Its totally possible. I have two sets of these already on my house and using it to do all laundry needs. Very cool.

Anyways, just to give you a heads up... these panels are 21 volts (open) and approx 0.75 amps each (seattle clouds) so its not much but it will sure charge them. Total of 4 amps for thetwo sets so equals to 50 to 60 watts total... So this will be one for each battery and in series. Now the only thing you need is a controller so that you dont over charge them. Yes its possible to overcarge them....

If you dont want a controller then maybe just a switch to turn it on or off. See once you use your car, it wont be strong enough to fully charge them back again. But in cases that you know its fully charge and you roll it out of the garage and sitting under the sun, then yes this migh overcharge it.. so you can simply turn it off.

Or you can use one of those BMS that they sell for 5 bucks... like one of these

And also the controller that comes with it is for 12 volts... You can use this to charge your aux battery with battery monitor at the same time....

You can probably device a roof rack or something where in you there is a hinge or something so you can open it up when parked.

this is fun... i will be following this closely..
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Ben,

Can you post a link to the site where you bought these panels? How much did they cost?
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Guys.

I bought the solar panels at Harbor Freight. Store Web Page Link

The product is a set of three solar panels, a basic combining/12v battery charging thing, and two 12V compact fluorecent bulbs and cables. I paid $180 using a coupon. This is considered a 45 watt system.

It's not high-power and fancy, but it was inexpensive enough for me to buy and get started in solar as a "turn-key Kit".

Product Link
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes watch out for the coupon. Most of the time they have 199 deals but just wait for the right ones.... I got them for 175 bucks so 180 is the best i think right now...

Also, the next best thing for the deal is the costco version at 60 watts for less than 250 i think.... not sure but this one even includes inverter. Similar to this one....

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