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I'm driving on sunshine (whooah)!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Zappi itself can only charge with a minimum of 1.4kW



  • Moderators Posts: 12,371 ✭✭✭✭Black_Knight


    Isn't that because of an industry standard? Though I guess an integrated solar panel wouldn't have anything to do with industry standards for charge points



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    Yeah the 1.4kW is the minimum power for the EV charging standard (whatever it's called) but it isn't exactly enforced. If both the charger and car can go lower then they're allowed to do so

    I guess something like the Sion with integrated solar panels could just supply DC from the panels directly to the battery through some voltage regulator and skip the AC conversion and losses

    Makes you wonder how they wired the solar cells together. Ideally if you could get enough in series to get around 400V then you don't need any DC voltage conversion, just a bog standard battery charger and regulator

    That's a lot of cells though, around 720 I think, or equivalent to around 10 regular panels. You'd need really small solar cells to avoid running out of roof space which then runs into the spectre of additional costs from custom cells

    I'm also hoping Sion didn't do something dumb like wire the cells on all the surfaces together in series. IIRC the car has solar panels on the sides, bonnet and roof. So if all the cells were wired in series to the same regulator then if one side is in shade (which will be almost always) then all the panels will be dragged down

    Hopefully all the different surfaces are connected in parallel, which I'm sure they did. But then you probably need a much more complex and expensive regulator to charge the battery

    Anyway, this is probably why it's taking Sion so long to get the car to market and is why solar panels on the car are so tricky and expensive

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Sion is no more unfortunately. The company went bankrupt, but the solar cell business made a through start. The car will never be produced.

    Like yourself, I'd like to see the technical details of their solar cell to HV battery setup. BTW it is not that hard or expensive to have a higher voltage battery than your DC source. I used one of these to do something similar, it worked well:





  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,001 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Solar panels on cars are about as good as an idea as solar roadways, for driving anyway.

    For machines parked up for a long time, a small panel can keep the 12v system in good condition though, but to actually drive it you'd prob be better off without the weight.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    There is merit in a car covered with solar panels, like the Sion. But not so much here in Ireland. In southern California, if you had a commute up to about 30km, the car could do that every day of the year without ever having to be charged. That's kinda cool, isn't it? 😁

    Great for people with no access to chargers at their home / work



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    Ah damn, I knew they were in some financial troubles recently but I thought they'd gotten bailed out

    I think it kind of demonstrates how the concept is pretty flawed, but I'd hoped they'd make it work in the end

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    You'd basically want no weight or cost penalty for them to be worthwhile, so pretty much a pipe dream

    I think one area they'd work would be refrigerated truck trailers. Could use solar panels to power the chiller so you don't need to draw power from the truck. You'd have decent space for panels at least, but vastly higher consumption so you'd never be driving an electric truck on solar from the trailer

    Campervans are another option but it's already being done and the best application would be to charge the house battery (assuming there is one) to avoid a range impact from using appliances

    Could have a few fold up panels as well to dramatically increase your power while parked

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,001 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Mentioning electric trucks (well hybrid) have you heard of Edison trucks? starting to Build off highway (logging) trucks in a tent in Canada, and they are building basically a bmw i3 phev in a logging truck.

    But a lot of routes they go up empty and down full too. Possibly a energy surplus in some conditions



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Their problem was they couldn't get the car to market. But apparantly the solar cell (in body panels) part of the business is viable and it is making a new start. So the opposite of what you are saying 😁





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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    I notice there's no car there, trucks and buses instead, so actually almost exactly what I said 😉

    Makes sense when you think about it, nice big flat surface for lots of cells and a simpler installation than putting on a curved body panel

    EDIT: Okay I actually made the truck comment to graememk, too many simultaneous chats going on 😂

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    I can see a future for cars with solar panels alright, the curves are not the biggest issue, it's cost. Vs benefit of having lower fuel consumption for the life of the car. If the car does 30km per day every day on PV, for someone in California who has no home / work charging and relies on fast public charging at say $1 per kWh, that's $2000 per year saved. Plus a lot less hassle. So if the panels made the car maybe $2-3k more expensive, it would be a no brainer for them.

    I was actually seriously considering getting the Red Arrow plastered with panels, connected in series and directly connected to the HV battery 🤪



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    What a difference a couple of decent days make. Both cars were completely empty yesterday morning, water was cold and home battery empty too. Now everything is at least half full, probably full by tomorrow evening and looking good for the next week. We shall be driving on sunshine for another week at least!



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    Similar story here, started Friday with a dead house battery and a whopping 300W coming from the panels

    Ah well, great excuse for not doing the laundry 😂

    Saturday and Sunday are much improved, got the house running off solar and another 10kWh into the car so far

    Was out this afternoon so missed another 11kWh which got exported 😭

    Stats are looking much better this month as well. Currently at 73% driving on solar and that's partly because I forgot to turn off the night boost one evening

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    I'm not exporting anything. Running a large cryptomining rig though 24/7 on half decent PV days 😁



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    I didn't forget to post my stats for August, I was just keeping you all in suspense 😉

    Much improved over July. I'm definitely noticing a pattern of how much energy I'm getting into the car, seems to be around 120-140kWh per month regardless of the weather


    -Solar charging: 131.86Wh

    -Grid charging: 32.66kWh

    -Solar percentage: 80.75%


    -Charging cost at 14.53c/kWh: €4.75

    -Average electricity price (cost/grid+solar): 2.89c/kWh



    -Distance travelled: 641km

    Average speed: 24km/h

    -Indicated consumption: 16.9kWh/100km

    -Actual consumption (incl losses): 25.67kWh/100km


    -Distance travelled on solar only: 513km


    -Average cost per km: 0.74c/km

    September is off to an excellent start, with 33kWh into the car from solar power already

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,482 ✭✭✭eagerv


    If Sept continues like this (Which it wont) then this will be our third best month of the year for solar..



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,165 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin


    We need to keep closing and then reopening schools for that to happen 😂

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,852 ✭✭✭✭ELM327


    I have a full house battery, full leaf battery, tesla at 90% and charging, full Ora. I have 45kWh more storage waiting to go in (turns out its not as plug and play with my existing DC setup as I thought, have ordered more cables). After talking to a couple of folks I'm actually waiting for my day night smart meter with great anticipation. I'm feckin exporting a little today. First time in a while. Simply have nowhere to put the energy!



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Coming up to 4 months now, driving both my EVs entirely on solar PV



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,234 ✭✭✭DaveyDave


    Whatever about how much people generate or what the cost is, putting it simply has "500km driven on solar" is mad.

    There's just something about the idea of driving on solar that I really look forward to. On one hand, sticking it to "the man" and not having to pay suppliers for it. On the other hand the fact that a light in the sky is letting you drive for free...mad when you think about it haha



  • Registered Users Posts: 65,256 ✭✭✭✭unkel
    Chauffe, Marcel, chauffe!


    Well not quite free, our solar PV installs cost a good bit. But indeed fully renewable and zero emissions!



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