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So how many sunny days do it need to charge from empty to full battery?
 

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Best case scenario, keeping it flat like that, would probably be around 10 to charge from empty to full. Anything less than best case scenario would be A LOT longer ;)
If 10 perfect days is true, then the additional charge from a perfect day would probably not overcome losses from additional weight and the reduced aerodynamics during my daily commute. The only way to overcome this is probably some sort of contraption like satellites have to open up a much larger folding array of solar panels.
 

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If 10 perfect days is true, then the additional charge from a perfect day would probably not overcome losses from additional weight and the reduced aerodynamics during my daily commute. The only way to overcome this is probably some sort of contraption like satellites have to open up a much larger folding array of solar panels.
Or a more efficient solar panel.
 

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Or a more efficient solar panel.
Maybe a 20-30% more efficient solar panel is possible, but I doubt we'll see a 10x improvement in the next 5 years.
 

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Maybe a 20-30% more efficient solar panel is possible, but I doubt we'll see a 10x improvement in the next 5 years.
Considering solar panels are only about 20% efficient currently, I would guess a 2x improvement is likely. And in my lifetime I wouldn't be surprised at a 4x improvement.
 

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Considering solar panels are only about 20% efficient currently, I would guess a 2x improvement is likely. And in my lifetime I wouldn't be surprised at a 4x improvement.
Waiting a lifetime to get a single solar panel to charge in 2.5 days instead of 10 days is too long for me to wait. A transformer or hoberman-like contraption to unfold more panels while parked is definitely a more likely scenario.
 

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I still like the idea of a roof and hood integrated solar panel just to keep things up. Maybe charge the 12v battery so those issues go away.
 

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Demo/display for a solar installation company? Can't really see the wrap too well. Experiment? Obviously not enough panel to even drive the oem ESVE to 8 amps.
 

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I still like the idea of a roof and hood integrated solar panel just to keep things up. Maybe charge the 12v battery so those issues go away.
Right, how much cost are we adding to the hood and roof vs. the cost of a new 12V battery every 3-5 years. There's no practical ROI for this. Maybe it could be a good marketing gimmick to help bolster sales - a solar panel covered car would appear more green than non-solar panel covered car. Heck, just apply some stickers that look like solar panels.
 

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Right, how much cost are we adding to the hood and roof vs. the cost of a new 12V battery every 3-5 years. There's no practical ROI for this. Maybe it could be a good marketing gimmick to help bolster sales - a solar panel covered car would appear more green than non-solar panel covered car. Heck, just apply some stickers that look like solar panels.
Ask the right person and they'll tell you marketing is everything. There are plenty of people out there that you can convince to buy just about anything with the right pitch (unfortunately I know some of them :( )
 

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Right, how much cost are we adding to the hood and roof vs. the cost of a new 12V battery every 3-5 years. There's no practical ROI for this. Maybe it could be a good marketing gimmick to help bolster sales - a solar panel covered car would appear more green than non-solar panel covered car. Heck, just apply some stickers that look like solar panels.
And if you look at the decal on the side of the car, it's only for marketing value.
It might not even be connected to anything (!)
 

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I'm one to try this stuff, but also one to tell people that some goals will NEVER be achieved. Some folks seem to expect that solar will improve so much, like semiconductors, that eventually we'll have flying solar powered cars. In reality, commercial solar panels are about 20% efficient now. Best case, best conditions, they can generate about 20W per sq foot. Maybe we'll get to 40-50W per sq foot in my lifetime (commercial panels again). But we'll NEVER get to 100W per sq foot. And the total cross sectional area that faces the sun is not going to significantly change for a vehicle.
 

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I'm one to try this stuff, but also one to tell people that some goals will NEVER be achieved. Some folks seem to expect that solar will improve so much, like semiconductors, that eventually we'll have flying solar powered cars. In reality, commercial solar panels are about 20% efficient now. Best case, best conditions, they can generate about 20W per sq foot. Maybe we'll get to 40-50W per sq foot in my lifetime (commercial panels again). But we'll NEVER get to 100W per sq foot. And the total cross sectional area that faces the sun is not going to significantly change for a vehicle.
While individual PV panel charging our EVs is a distant dream. I would never say never, just think of the reduction and quality of the size of our batteries, memory and speed of our cell phones in the last 20 years. Just 16 years ago the iPod was revolutionary but now we all have smart phones that are ubiquitous and essential tool for most of our everyday life.

As for PV panels, there are production panels with 35% efficiency with many patents filed for PV panels with up to 50%. Of course they cost nearly 10 times of most available commercial panels and out of reach of the traditional consumer.. Most of these highly efficient panels are used exclusively for the military.
 

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I bet flexible PV's would work better for aerodynamics and weight. I think those would generate enough to cover my commute to work, which is only 2 miles (0.4'ish kWh). My car is usually in the sunlight all day.
 

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The Leaf's have a small solar panel built into the rear spoiler just to trickle charge the 12v. If you read the Leaf forums, the jury is still out on if this has a true measurable impact on the 12v lifespan.

Now I do like the idea of having a roof top solar panel to power the A/C fan while the car is off on hot sunny days. The last generation Prius had that option and I thought that would have been neat to have in the Volt.
 

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I bet flexible PV's would work better for aerodynamics and weight. I think those would generate enough to cover my commute to work, which is only 2 miles (0.4'ish kWh). My car is usually in the sunlight all day.
With such a short commute, you should just drive it like you stole it and try to at least use 1 kWh.
 

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You'll find a Volt with dual 100W flexible panels installed on the roof by body shop owner Mika Hardkvist on the FB Volt Owners group.
 
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