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I'm not great at volts and watts so please go easy on me.
Question I would like to charge my 2014 Volt at my cabin and have several days to do it when I am up there. I have a solar panel on my roof that charges my 12V lithium batteries that run various accessories. Can I hook up an inverter to the battery that is being constantly charged up by the solar panel and plug in at the lowest setting of 8 on the car without blowing anything?
How large an inverter do I need. Is 1000W sufficient on the slow charge?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks
 

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I'm not great at volts and watts so please go easy on me.
Question I would like to charge my 2014 Volt at my cabin and have several days to do it when I am up there. I have a solar panel on my roof that charges my 12V lithium batteries that run various accessories. Can I hook up an inverter to the battery that is being constantly charged up by the solar panel and plug in at the lowest setting of 8 on the car without blowing anything?
How large an inverter do I need. Is 1000W sufficient on the slow charge?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks
If you are not using the inverter for anything else, 1000 watts would be just barely enough to charge at 8 amps. Do you have a battery bank at the cabin? I would not try to charge directly from the solar panel without some kind of battery bank buffer to keep the supply steady.

Also, I don't know if you need a high quality inverter or if a cheap square wave inverter would be good enough... hopefully someone else can chime in on that issue.

Keith
 

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On the slowest charge setting (8A) you need 960W of power. So 1000W inverter should do fine. But if it's coming from an inverter, you'll need more power to supply it, as inverters aren't 100% efficient.

Probably 1200W of solar input to charge a volt, so if you have average solar input higher than that (or battery bank has a large capacity to charge the volt for when the sun fades a bit) you should be ok.
There are other users on here charging from solar that have shared their experiences if you have a look through the forums. (see "Similar threads" section below as a starting point)
 

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The inverter is one thing but the output of your solar panel is another. Is your panel one of those trickle charger panels you can buy at your local hardware/auto store which is meant to trickle charge a 12v battery? If so, those only output at around 14 watts and are designed to keep 12v batteries topped up or very slowly charged up. If you have a bank of solar panels designed for running your cabin, then you may have something that will work but you will be drawing on that supply for 12 or so hours which is a fair draw.
 

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On the slowest charge setting (8A) you need 960W of power. So 1000W inverter should do fine. But if it's coming from an inverter, you'll need more power to supply it, as inverters aren't 100% efficient.

Probably 1200W of solar input to charge a volt, so if you have average solar input higher than that (or battery bank has a large capacity to charge the volt for when the sun fades a bit) you should be ok.
There are other users on here charging from solar that have shared their experiences if you have a look through the forums. (see "Similar threads" section below as a starting point)
and I would use a sine wave inverter not a square wave inverter to protect the car charger
if you had sun 12hrs a day with no shading (clouds) 1200w will do
 

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i'm guessing you don't have enough panels or batteries to supply 8A at 110V for 10+ hours. But since you didn't supply how many panels you have, the specs of the panels, and how many batteries you have, it's hard to know for sure. Plus if there are any trees or clouds, or nearby mountains you'll need even panels to make up for any shade.
 

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Scientific Wild Ass Guess is the OP's system is marginal at best and even if it works, there's nothing left over for the rest of the cabin.
 

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Bottom line it's a Volt. It's designed to use gasoline for extended range requirements. I would not risk screwing up expensive hardware to save $5 on gas.
 

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Your battery likely not large enough or powerful enough to run a ~1500W inverter for very long. Most cabin systems are not meant to power pro-longed heavy loads like what the Volt would pull.

I'd recommend against solar charging the Volt with a small solar array. Save your sun rays for powering your cabins lights and appliances. The Volt has an engine for a reason.
 

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If you don't have at least a 2000w solar array and a battery bank to store it in and act as a buffer, it's not a realistic option honestly.

Most people vastly overestimate how much solar panels generate and have unrealistic expecations. If you know how much your panel setup generates get back to us and it'll be easier to make some calculations accordingly.

Don't forget in addition that panels generally only generate their peak for a few hours a day as well, and during the early and late hours may only make 50% of their rated capacity unless you have the means to turn the array and track the sun. Also, at the 8A setting you won't have enough sunlight hours in the day to accomplish a full charge, so again realistically, you're looking at the entire capacity of a 2000w array for probably 2 full days.
 

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What's the size of the 12V battery bank? I know from experience that the Volt doesn't like varying amounts of power. I almost had to install a line conditioner at my house because the utility power was fluctuating too much.

Can you run a hair dryer or a microwave in your cabin?
 

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If you don't have at least a 2000w solar array and a battery bank to store it in and act as a buffer, it's not a realistic option honestly.

Most people vastly overestimate how much solar panels generate and have unrealistic expecations. If you know how much your panel setup generates get back to us and it'll be easier to make some calculations accordingly.

Don't forget in addition that panels generally only generate their peak for a few hours a day as well, and during the early and late hours may only make 50% of their rated capacity unless you have the means to turn the array and track the sun. Also, at the 8A setting you won't have enough sunlight hours in the day to accomplish a full charge, so again realistically, you're looking at the entire capacity of a 2000w array for probably 2 full days.
Similarly, when I was looking at adding enough solar to my house to become net neutral, it was looking like a $35k system would be needed to do it (no batteries, using the power company as my battery). That $35k can pay for a whole lot of gas and a whole lot of power grid electricity. I still haven't don't it, but I will when I have the cash to just do it for the heck of it.
 

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the other thing to keep in mind is the start up current may exceed 8a for a moment and your inverter has to handle that, may have to increase inverter to 1.5 times or more
 

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the other thing to keep in mind is the start up current may exceed 8a for a moment and your inverter has to handle that, may have to increase inverter to 1.5 times or more
I have a whole home wattage tracking setup and I haven't observed any start surge from an EVSE. Typically only inductive loads like motors incur a startup surge. To the contrary the Volt EVSE/charger seems to have a rather soft start with a quick ramp up to it's rated charging limit, and then it slowly reduces over time as the SOC on the Volt increases.
 

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I have a whole home wattage tracking setup and I haven't observed any start surge from an EVSE. Typically only inductive loads like motors incur a startup surge. To the contrary the Volt EVSE/charger seems to have a rather soft start with a quick ramp up to it's rated charging limit, and then it slowly reduces over time as the SOC on the Volt increases.
that would be inverter friendly
 

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As others have said, a 1000w inverter will probably work without tripping on the lowest setting. Since you didn't mention sizes of anything. If you have less than a 2k pv array and all related components ( batteries, charge controller, etc. ) then you probably should forget about it. If you have an extra $5000 and want to setup a decent off-grid system for your cabin with occasional charging of your Volt - well then have at it.
 

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I think most people would be thinking about this in reverse. Use the inverter to let the car power appliances in the cabin.
 

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I think most people would be thinking about this in reverse. Use the inverter to let the car power appliances in the cabin.
Got there just before me. That's exactly what I would do. Unless the cabin batteries are huge, you'd run out of power an hour or so after being on the dark side of the earth. With the Volt supplying power, you'd need to run out of gas before losing power.
 

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you would be limited to what the car would supply its 12 volt battery for current from the high voltage battery
maybe a couple of 100w light bulbs
 
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