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Old 02-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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xB Solar panel roof

Some of you know I have an xB show car that is rarely driven. Well its about that time again where I am designing a rebuild for it. This time I may tackle an EV conversion just for the sake of conquering such a task.

As you can see by the picture below, it has a lexan roof that looks like a football field, well while cool looking it never turned out how I wanted. Therefore I want to remove the roof and use the framing and bracing to house solar paneling. The hole is 44x60 or there abouts. Would that work out to serve any useful purpose if I were to mount solar panels in it?

Remember I live in florida, just about sunny all the time and if it does work it would help make the statement. I wouldn't think it would help extend the EV range by any noticeable amount. Otherwise I'm re-skinning the roof and still moving forward with the project.. Let me know .. Thanks ..


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Old 02-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They mostly use it to run the climate control, don't they? Does it feed the pack directly?

Quote:
I wouldn't think it would help extend the EV range by any noticeable amount
You're about right there. Of course it depends (TM).

If you're only driving the car once a week, it'll contribute a greater amount to your range than if you drive the car every day.

A vehicle roof isn't ideal for panels for a number of reasons, just one of which is they're not optimized in terms of angle/direction towards the sun to maximize output.

Still, there's something cool about solar panels on a vehicle, even if it's not inherently practical!

I'm still toying with the idea of a panel/panels for the ForkenSwift, but I'd like them to be on low profile racks that have a tilt/pan ability. So when it's parked, you can flip them up & lock them in position for more power. We'll see.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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check out the sanyo dubble sided panels.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You know, that might be a good idea on what to do with moon roofs (the solid sunroofs, right?). Swap out that old material, pop in a solar panel and some acrylic plastic. Weight lightening at the same time too!

For cars that aren't EV though, the panels could be used for trickle charging the battery. I would do this, but I like my sunroof too much. Although, for people who don't feel like ripping out the sunroof, you could do something along these lines.

If the sunroof has a pull-out shade, put it inbetween the sunroof and the shade. That way you still have the sunroof, and still have the shade, and can generate some electricity off of it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like the idea. I also like the clear roof!!

I agree and disagree with Metro on the practicality of solar on a vehicle.
Yes, you have limited ability to maximize angle.
BUT...where else in your life can you easily use low voltage DC output every day? If you install PV panels on your home, you either have solar lights running on a 12V battery, or you are spending $$$$$$$ on lots of PVs and inverter/electronics.
In my case, my car is parked in the sun all day at work, and any solar that I collect (future plan) will go into charging my partially discharged battery from the morning commute. Every watt of solar E there is a watt that I don't have to use when auto-trickle charging at night.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I understand what you all say about optimal angles for the panel, but cmon ... This is a flat roof and I live in south Florida ... you mean to tell me that I will not be able to collect the sun's energy efficiently?

I wish I had a video showing a flat panel on the floor with time lapse showing the different voltage output throughout the day. I mean I can agree with some of you if I lived in Canada. But i'm not all that far from the equator (Figuratively) here, sun light is pretty constant until sunset around these parts ...

How many other places will get you a sun burn @ 3pm in February?
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This got me thinking... any parking spots along white walls at your dealership? Might be able to get more sun than even an angle-optimized panel.
I thought about putting an easy-install/remove whiteboard (tileboard) reflector atop the car while parked to get more sun. Obviously not something for the nice looking car you're working on, but on my ride, ooh yeah.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd say go for it. As Metro said, there's something cool about solar panels on a car. They'll add some to your batteries and cut down how much you have to charge it at home.

ollie
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How about a little preview for encouragement

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