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Does anyone know if there is any kind of official GM solar charing facility available to make the car a bit greener? I guess I'd be interested to hear about unofficial solar charging techniques too. Anyone have any links?

Honda has a fueling station for their FCX, however the FCX is hydrogen fuel cell based and the station relies on natural gas. I'd prefer an electric car (volt is close enough) with a solar charging station. Why halfass being green right? Honda's station also provides utilities to your home wich is pretty cool though.
http://www.gizmag.com/honda-fuel-cell-fcx/8394/
 

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Does anyone know if there is any kind of official GM solar charing facility available to make the car a bit greener? I guess I'd be interested to hear about unofficial solar charging techniques too. Anyone have any links?

Honda has a fueling station for their FCX, however the FCX is hydrogen fuel cell based and the station relies on natural gas. I'd prefer an electric car (volt is close enough) with a solar charging station. Why halfass being green right? Honda's station also provides utilities to your home wich is pretty cool though.
http://www.gizmag.com/honda-fuel-cell-fcx/8394/

Yes, I have an official GM solar charging station at my house. When I drive my Volt home I will plug it in and my solar panels will provide most of the energy. Green today. Seriously, it's much easier to go green when you are just charging batteries. You can go from your roof mounted solar panels to your inverter to the Volt's charger to your battery or there will probably soon be the option to go from your solar panels to a DC to DC power supply that will directly feed the batteries. Much more efficient if you are charging during the daylight hours. Anyway. Go green and install solar on your house today! I think the concept is just too simple for most people to grasp. Solar - battery - motor. Yawn.
 

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It most likely will not be profitable, but good for PR. Come to think of it, shaded park and ride areas with FREE charging stations from solar PV, connected to the grid. Maybe the federal government should subsidize modifications to the various park and ride areas along the interstate freeways. Build more parking and charging stations at least, connect them to the grid so that people who rest during the night in those areas are able to recharge. And a shaded parking is not a bad idea for the sunny states.
 

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Yeah I like it, refuling stations could pay for themselves not by charging people for fillups but by selling to the grid. Texas do you have a link for that station you've got? I'll have do to do some hunting for it
 

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Yeah I like it, refuling stations could pay for themselves not by charging people for fillups but by selling to the grid. Texas do you have a link for that station you've got? I'll have do to do some hunting for it
Just call up your local solar installer (in the yellow pages) and ask them for a quote. If you're lucky your area will give you a nice rebate check. When your meter runs backward for the first you will be hooked. Then when your Volt comes home you will be the greenest guy on the block. ;)

P.S. while your at it have an energy audit performed on your house. Some insulation here, a few double paned windows there, change a few light bulbs and you can really feel the green. Remember, it's easier to save electricity than it is to generate it.
 

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Yes, I have an official GM solar charging station at my house. When I drive my Volt home I will plug it in and my solar panels will provide most of the energy. Green today. Seriously, it's much easier to go green when you are just charging batteries. You can go from your roof mounted solar panels to your inverter to the Volt's charger to your battery or there will probably soon be the option to go from your solar panels to a DC to DC power supply that will directly feed the batteries. Much more efficient if you are charging during the daylight hours. Anyway. Go green and install solar on your house today! I think the concept is just too simple for most people to grasp. Solar - battery - motor. Yawn.
Since solar is a daytime-only AND use-it-or-lose-it energy source, relying on it to charge your Volt will be impractical for most people who work during daylight hours.

-Charge at night, get low rates.
-In the morning, unplug and drive off to work.
-Solar begins harvesting energy and selling back to grid at high, peak rates (reimbursing you for nightly charges).

Unless you work midnights, relying on solar to power your batteries directly during the day is not going to work out too well.
 

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Since solar is a daytime-only AND use-it-or-lose-it energy source, relying on it to charge your Volt will be impractical for most people who work during daylight hours.

-Charge at night, get low rates.
-In the morning, unplug and drive off to work.
-Solar begins harvesting energy and selling back to grid at high, peak rates (reimbursing you for nightly charges).

Unless you work midnights, relying on solar to power your batteries directly during the day is not going to work out too well.

Silly boy. If you are connect to the grid you are virtually charging up your Volt. Understand? If you are off the grid and have no storage then you will need to be plugged in when the sun is shining. That's not convenient. Additionally, when the sun is shining bright is when many utility companies will give you top dollar for your power generation because it helps satisfy their peak demand. You then can have your smart charger fill your Volt's battery tank at night when the rates are cheaper. Can you see how it all works now? Spread the green.
 

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Over here, you will have to sign up first, with a special program with your utility for time of day metering in order to have reduced cost at night. Otherwise, it is the same tiered rate on per billing cycle.

When signing up for the time of day metering, you will be required to relinquish control of your major appliance such as airconditioner so that they can turn them off during peak demands. Someone has to do some sacrifices, you know.
 

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I would like to add the following comment, if I may do so without being told to use the search engine. If the following opinion has already been expressed, it bears repeating.

The idea of using solar panels to recharge the Volt has been met with skepticism based on cost analysis of solar versus charging from the electric utility grid. While charging from the grid may appear less expensive at this time, consider the situation in which millions of Chevy Volts and its competitors are recharging from the grid. Electric utilities already operate at or near maximum capacity during periods of peak demand, so they will have to increase generating capacity to meet the additional demand of electric vehicles. They will have to purchase additional fuel in an energy market that is already tight. In that scenario, electric utility rates can be expected to increase, to cover the costs of fuel and the construction of new power plants. The burning of additional coal will increase emissions of sulfur oxides, particulates, mercury, and CO2 into the atmosphere.

While charging the Volt's battery from the grid may appear less expensive than charging from solar panels at this time, in the long term, that appearance may be illusory. In any case, charging from solar panels is a green alternative that environmentally responsible individuals can choose to implement for themselves. While there remains much room for improvement in the efficiency of solar panels, they have the inherent efficiency of providing power at the site where it is delivered. Much of the energy that is transmitted by the electric utility grid is lost heating transmission wires and transformers.
 

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Well put Stevie. I'm hoping the increased energy demand will be somewhat limited for the first few years so that not many additional coal plants are needed. In the long term I'm hoping we'll move away from coal in favor of something cleaner.

Along with the volt and solaring up my home I've also been looking at mass green energy production. They're all fairly expensive compared to coal but a stepped govt regulation on utilities to purchase a percentage of energy from sources other then coal could make all the difference. My #1 pick has got to be Molten Salt Solar Thermal Towers. After we lose oil with our volts and the electrified fleet that will follow we'll get rid of the black nuggets too(Calm down people from Denver, I'm not talking about your team).

Read up on the solar tower if you're interested and you've got a sec. This is an article on concentrated solar in general written by Joseph Romm, an expert among experts:
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/04/14/solar_electric_thermal/

Here's a You Tube clip of a solar tower that was put up in Spain a few years ago. This one isn't molten salt, just water I think but through a few new advances the technology is even better now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9Uo3KlWNng

And here's a little article about towers near Barstow CA using some new tricks like molten salt and black pyromark. These were more proof of concept projects then large scale power plants but they performed amazingly.
http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2005/09/aabout_solar_to.html

Couldn't we just stop paying our soldiers to kill people in oil fields and start paying our engineers to build a sustainable infrastructure? Wouldn't that make more sense?

I'm not sure exact numbers but I know our military cost over $500 BILLION DOLLARS yearly. #1 budget in the world.. just to put it in perspective the country with the next highest budget (China I think) wich is still way way over the average was about 50 BILLION. That means if we just stopped invading other countries and killing their people and just focused on defending our borders we could easily do it for 60 BILLION, then we'd still have the biggest military and we'd have an extra 440 BILLION DOLLARS in our pockets every year. Pretty sure we could pay for this or just about anything else we wanted...
 

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While charging from the grid may appear less expensive at this time, consider the situation in which millions of Chevy Volts and its competitors are recharging from the grid.
By the time there are millions of Volts and other EVs on the road, the cost of PV systems should be way cheaper and make much more sense to install financially. If you want to install solar panels right now just to be green that's fine. I however feel that putting in panels now is a big waste of money considering the time it takes to recoup your investment and the fact that we know much cheaper PV systems are coming soon in around five years, maybe less. Waiting seems to be the financially prudent thing to do.
 

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By the time there are millions of Volts and other EVs on the road, the cost of PV systems should be way cheaper and make much more sense to install financially. If you want to install solar panels right now just to be green that's fine. I however feel that putting in panels now is a big waste of money considering the time it takes to recoup your investment and the fact that we know much cheaper PV systems are coming soon in around five years, maybe less. Waiting seems to be the financially prudent thing to do.
Cheaper home solar is definatly on the way with companies like nanosolar going into production printing sheets of PV off the press. But the utility and commercial demand for this stuff is going to get served first. I don't think residential is going to get the new PV tech for another 10 years or so and I'm not into waiting that long.
 
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