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Old 02-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Exclamation Part two: Add a Solar Array for Trickle Charging

Part two: Add a Solar Array for Trickle Charging

I finally received the solar panel. I mounted the solar panel on the roof rack. I got lucky with this. My roof rack has small adjustable, threaded, metal tabs that I was able to bolt the panel to. It made for a nice clean install. The roof rack also has 4 locking mechanisms that I used to help keep the panel from sliding side-to-side, just in case.

I did move the panel forward on the roof after the picture below was taken.

I ran the wires through the weather stripping at the rear lift gate. I connected the wires to a run of 14 gauge wire that connected to the charge controller. I hid the wire in the crack between the carpet and the side interior panel.

I ran another segment of wire from the charge controller to the battery.

That's it. All done. Now I am able to charge my van with sunshine.

We had over cast today and the panel was charging the battery great. It even keeps the voltage higher when the van is running!

I can't wait to see what my MPG will increase to.




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Old 02-08-2012, 03:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You know having that solar panel and a roof rack will probably rob more power due to drag than an alternator will place on your engine.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You know having that solar panel and a roof rack will probably rob more power due to drag than an alternator will place on your engine.
Time will tell.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Time will tell.
You are right that time will tell, but I'd predict that Connclark is correct about the aero costs. Your best way to find out will be with A-B-A testing. I love your initiative and this is close to a mod I want to do, but I plan for 2mm thick and flexible panels that will form-fit to the roof. This thicker panel mounted on the roof rack looks a little like a wing. I think if there is any way for you to do it and are committed to this hardware, you could move it to the trunklid. You might even make it a bit of a trunklid flat spoiler if it won't fit on the available surface. There would still be aero issues there, but I think they'd be less significant that your current wing-like roof mounting. Maybe others will chime in pointers.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Your solar panel has the old school optical illusion of black dots !
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You are right that time will tell, but I'd predict that Connclark is correct about the aero costs. Your best way to find out will be with A-B-A testing. I love your initiative and this is close to a mod I want to do, but I plan for 2mm thick and flexible panels that will form-fit to the roof. This thicker panel mounted on the roof rack looks a little like a wing. I think if there is any way for you to do it and are committed to this hardware, you could move it to the trunklid. You might even make it a bit of a trunklid flat spoiler if it won't fit on the available surface. There would still be aero issues there, but I think they'd be less significant that your current wing-like roof mounting. Maybe others will chime in pointers.
Yep, I was hoping to use the flexible panels, but the budget didn't allow it. If I see a loss in mpg, then I will make some changes. I might start with lowering the front of the panel. Then perhaps make a small... hmm brain fart... a small deflector in front of the panel to carry the air over the panel.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Your solar panel has the old school optical illusion of black dots !
Dare I ask what you mean?
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Dare I ask what you mean?
Scintillating Grid Illusion -- from Wolfram MathWorld
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Previa View Post
Yep, I was hoping to use the flexible panels, but the budget didn't allow it. If I see a loss in mpg, then I will make some changes. I might start with lowering the front of the panel. Then perhaps make a small... hmm brain fart... a small deflector in front of the panel to carry the air over the panel.
Can you put it inside on the rear deck? You would lose some power but you really don't want it in the wind. And maybe there would be enough power for most purposes even if it were inside. How much power does it produce? How many watts?
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.



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Old 02-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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LOL. I was reading too much in to that.

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