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Old 03-14-2012, 10:28 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I think it would vary based on your particular vehicle. A typical battery for a sentra would be 12AH. Of course, the real question is how much electric power you use in a given day. If you're not using any accessories, then 15W might be sufficient - especially if you roll start your engine during your P&G-ing. A safe assumption is probably an effective 6 hours per day of solid sunlight(as the solar panel will not always be producing the rated output) and reduce that by about 15%, so worst case scenario if your battery is completely dead, 12AH/5H= 2.4A * 12v=28.8W

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:20 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
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.
Did you follow through with this? I ask because I have considered doing the same thing, and mounting solar panels on the roof of my truck and the topper. I will study this setup some more, I think.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:47 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ECONORAM View Post
Did you follow through with this? I ask because I have considered doing the same thing, and mounting solar panels on the roof of my truck and the topper. I will study this setup some more, I think.
I have not done it partly because I became convinced the benefits were probably too modest, but mostly because I had charging/battery problems, followed by mechanical trouble and then the transmission swap. More than enough to distract this novice from solar panels. I also have become more aware of the rules for CA emissions and I would have quite a hassle with the battery set up, I suspect.

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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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