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Old 03-19-2016, 12:25 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I don't know why a generator would not charge a leaf.
It may just be Nissan doing the legal CYA thing.

I didn't know that the leaf could not be generator charged, all the more reason to build my own EV when I decide I need one.
It might just be for safety reasons. From what I've read the ground on a generator is wired differently (or not at all) than it is on a home. So when the Leaf tests the line for ground, which it does before allowing a charge, it sees that ground isn't ground and aborts charging. So in order to use a generator (I've only seen where the Honda electronic sine wave EU2000's are being used) on a Leaf, they have to add a resistor between ground and neutral. And another between ground and hot. That way the Leaf thinks it's grounded and allows charging.

I had thought of building my own EV until I saw the prices of used Leafs. You're not going to be able to build a 24kW-h EV for $7,000. At least I don't think you can, and especially not with air conditioning and heat-pump heaters and heated seats, front, back and heated wheel.

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Old 03-19-2016, 12:59 AM   #32 (permalink)
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The ground on your typical 240 volt generator is set up as neutral bonded from the factory. For any standalone equipment this is what you want, but when you wire a generaor into your house wiring for a backup you have to break the neutral ground bond.
When I rewired my generator I replaced the N-G link bar on the generator terminal board with a length of 12 gauge wire 15 amp light switch so I can go from backup generator powering my house to remote with out having to take anything apart.

In your house the neutral and ground both share the same bus bar at the main panel.
So I bet the leaf charger uses a very high frequency signal over lay to detect if there is a very, very short distance or no between the neutral and ground like you get with a generator. The resistor will dissipate this HF overlay frequency the same as longer run of wire does.

If I have an EV I want it to have solar panel charging, generator charging and the ability to produce 240v 60Hz power from its battery for powering other stuff.
I already figured out heat and AC for an EV.
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Old 03-19-2016, 01:30 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I already figured out heat and AC for an EV.
Thanks for the info! Very helpful to say the least. And heat is important. There's still snow in my yard.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:54 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Man! Oh how I wish I could just solder these together and slap them on a trailer and go anywhere in an EV!

4KW of Solar Cells on Ebay
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:42 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. Perhaps all I need are aeromods. The more aerodynamic a Leaf (or other) is, the further it can go on the same charge.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:54 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Holy range anxiety! Get a Volt?
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:58 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Holy range anxiety! Get a Volt?
Thanks for the suggestion!

In reality I'm just throwing this out there. If and when I do get an EV I'll be prepared and this thread may have given me some good ideas, and then again maybe not. I just don't what to pass by something obvious. For an example, looking at my personal circumstances:

My daily driving is usually within 10 miles per day.
It's only on occasion that I need to go out of town.

Of course the idea here in this thread is what if I wanted to take my EV out of town? I'd really like a Leaf, not a Volt. But then again, the Leaf isn't the best option for drives out of town. Now there are other transportation options that are more economic and practical than a pusher or generator trailer on a Leaf, Volt included. And in reality I probably won't be driving a Leaf the 600 miles necessary to visit my mother-in-law. But I'm human and I just like pushing limits.

Hey! Speaking of range anxiety. I just sat down and researched charging stations on Plugshare. I see that to get to Denver (over 200 miles away) the next town that's 64 miles away has a level 2 charging station. And from there I can go along and about every 30 miles I can find another level 2 charger or 220V 50A outlet all the way into Denver. So it is possible to just drive from here to there in a Leaf. The two problems that come up are, 1 altitude changes. I'd have to cross the Continental Divide three times to get to Denver and even drive through the highest town in the USA, Leadville. And the fact that I'd be charging at each station for a couple hours. Probably around 4 at the first station. So 4+2+2+2+2=12hours. Add the 4 hours or more of pure road and it comes to a whopping total of 16hours.

Possible, but not as convenient as renting an ICE vehicle, opting for the Volt instead, or just taking the bus for $35. Hence, the pusher/generator trailer idea.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:11 PM   #38 (permalink)
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If I were to build a solar trailer, does anyone know what kind of Cd is possible with a flat bed solar trailer. I figure that with 3x6 cells a guy could rig up enough to charge the Leaf (Slowly) with an 8x15' trailer. An 8x30 of course would give you double the amperage. I was thinking of making it tilt so I could face it towards the sun along with mirrored plates that side of and prop up to focus more sunlight on the solar trailer.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:43 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Isaac Zackary View Post
If I were to build a solar trailer, does anyone know what kind of Cd is possible with a flat bed solar trailer. I figure that with 3x6 cells a guy could rig up enough to charge the Leaf (Slowly) with an 8x15' trailer. An 8x30 of course would give you double the amperage. I was thinking of making it tilt so I could face it towards the sun along with mirrored plates that slide off and prop up to focus more sunlight on the solar trailer.
that what you mean? tilt automatically or with inboard control?
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:24 PM   #40 (permalink)
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that what you mean? tilt automatically or with inboard control?
Neither.

For the road I figure I need the most aerodynamic shape possible. So the trailer would have to be all folded up while driving. Even if I had 8x30' worth of solar panels, I might make two and slide one on top of the other while driving making an 8x15' trailer for driving

So what I mean by tilting and pulling out reflector panels and such, I meant when stopped and to do it manually.

The idea being that I could drive and get some charge from off the panels, but in a flat aerodynamic stance. But then when out of juice I'd have to pull over and get as much solar charging as possible by tilting the panels and such. Then once charged I'd have to fold them up and go.

From what I can figure, 8' is the maximum allowed width for a trailer. I'd get about 1kW per 8x10'. So 30' would be about 3kW under one sun. But if I reflected twice as much sun on the panels I should get about twice the power, so about 6kW.

So in the end, if I drove long distances in sunny days it would be like taking a level 2 charger along. Of course it would still take a while to get anywhere. But for less than $2000 in solar cells, tabbing wire and solder, it's rather competitive when compared to bringing along a 6kW (constant) generator.
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Still. I'm thinking that the most practical truly "fossil fuel free" option would be to work on aeromods. If I could get the Cd down from .28 to .18 I could increase the range to nearly 160miles at 55mph. That way I'd have to stop less often for charging or charge for shorter times.

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