GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My plan right now is to get my 2013 set up with an inverter, but longer term get a battery (~1.3kwh) for the trunk to charge off the inverter and from a renewable source as well. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to mount a glass panel, but a thin film panel might work. Shooting for 150w-200w. Does anyone know anything that would help with this endeavor? Where to run wires, how to get the wires into the car, ways to adhere it preferably without damaging the body, etc.

To be clear, no, i'm not suggesting charging the car with a dinky 100w solar panel. Just a separate battery that I can access without having to keep the car running for inverter power.

Thank you! (also first post nice to meet you all)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
My plan right now is to get my 2013 set up with an inverter, but longer term get a battery (~1.3kwh) for the trunk to charge off the inverter and from a renewable source as well. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to mount a glass panel, but a thin film panel might work. Shooting for 150w-200w. Does anyone know anything that would help with this endeavor? Where to run wires, how to get the wires into the car, ways to adhere it preferably without damaging the body, etc.

To be clear, no, i'm not suggesting charging the car with a dinky 100w solar panel. Just a separate battery that I can access without having to keep the car running for inverter power.

Thank you! (also first post nice to meet you all)
My suggestion would be to consider scrapping this endeavor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,143 Posts
Why charge a little battery for your inverter, when you've got 10 kwh to play with? Just use the normal aux power output from the battery lugs and leave the car on. That'll run your inverter all day, AND provide you with music and climate control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
Seems like a lot of effort for not much power. What's it for? I know what the area of a 300 watt or so panel looks like. Half to a third of that in itself is going to be a challenge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
All due respect I didn't post here to discuss efficiency and feasibility, just to know what you all think I should know to get it done. :(

Why charge a little battery for your inverter, when you've got 10 kwh to play with? Just use the normal aux power output from the battery lugs and leave the car on. That'll run your inverter all day, AND provide you with music and climate control.
Sorry, figured I explained sufficiently with "a separate battery that I can access without having to keep the car running for inverter power."

400w consumption with no hvac (2-7kw with hvac is insane to me) while idle is definitely worth avoiding wherever possible, even if the car is plugged and charging. Even without that factor, keeping the car on especially overnight to run the inverter may not always be ideal or preferred or even legal in some places in the future.

Seems like a lot of effort for not much power. What's it for? I know what the area of a 300 watt or so panel looks like. Half to a third of that in itself is going to be a challenge.
It's definitely not much power but even 100w of 0 degree tilt (or slightly convex tilt given the roof which is weird) solar can offset many loads. The battery in question has it as an option to accept anderson connections so there's no reason not to take advantage the way I see it. I'd rather not take too much space in the car with dinky foldable panels that I would have to orient daily (and probably won't be possible in cities).

I work in solar so I certainly know my limits here. 300 would be great but not going to happen presently. I'm confident 100-200 is doable given the thin film products I have seen we just have to find what dimensions would be suitable, how to adhere it, and how to run the cables through the body.

The use case is really just camping. But i'm a heavy retro gamer and working in IT, so my load profile is probably markedly higher than most gamer campers. I try to keep efficient though. Laptop+monitor+consoles probably is less than 200w alone, plus other things like 12v heater or fridge. Battery in question is 1.3kwh which I estimate would last me the night and I can charge it off the car during the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
If you install the thin film on the inside of the window and could maybe simplify getting the power into the vehicle. It's probably a huge hit in production though. Might be worth looking for an existing path to add wires to the inside. Since you're already working in "Solar" you might have a better idea what hardware is available. Some of the stuff for RV applications?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If you install the thin film on the inside of the window and could maybe simplify getting the power into the vehicle. It's probably a huge hit in production though. Might be worth looking for an existing path to add wires to the inside. Since you're already working in "Solar" you might have a better idea what hardware is available. Some of the stuff for RV applications?
Yeah that's most certainly too big of a hit in production. D: I don't think getting a wire run to the inside will be difficult enough to necessitate putting them inside like that. I'm thinking I can finagle it into the sides of the hatchback door? Just have to make sure I can internalize the mc4 connector since I would rather not have that on the outside.

Does anyone know usable dimensions for the roof? o.o
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
If you put the solar inside the glass it'll greatly degrade the power it generates.

If you are using the strips like you put on metal roofs you could probably chain them and go inside through the sharkfin antenna. A replacement is cheapish and you could seal it well and uninstall easily if you needed to. If you run wires pinched between the hatchback and gasket there's a good chance it'll leak and you'll also develop a short.

Just a small twig made my back hatch leak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If you put the solar inside the glass it'll greatly degrade the power it generates.

If you are using the strips like you put on metal roofs you could probably chain them and go inside through the sharkfin antenna. A replacement is cheapish and you could seal it well and uninstall easily if you needed to. If you run wires pinched between the hatchback and gasket there's a good chance it'll leak and you'll also develop a short.

Just a small twig made my back hatch leak.
Hmm okay I figured it would hurt the wiring just didn't know if there was a clean way. I'll look into how the antenna works, I assumed it would be too difficult to feed it there. Thanks!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
If you pop the back of the headliner loose and pop the back seat reading lights you have pretty good access. Wear gloves to keep from getting smudges on the headliner. They all unclip. The shark fin is held on by one bolt and there's a gasket. You should have 2 or 3 wires going to the shark fin. Unhook them and see what room you have to work with. Theres a fair amount of dead space you can open and reseal. Just don't ruin any of the wiring. Make a small notch, some butyl tape and close it up.

The ELR is even easier. The alacantra roof is held on by magnets :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,410 Posts
Before you go the the trouble of wiring it...you might check to see how much drag this solar panel will inflict on your current mpg numbers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
If you put the solar inside the glass it'll greatly degrade the power it generates.

If you are using the strips like you put on metal roofs you could probably chain them and go inside through the sharkfin antenna. A replacement is cheapish and you could seal it well and uninstall easily if you needed to. If you run wires pinched between the hatchback and gasket there's a good chance it'll leak and you'll also develop a short.

Just a small twig made my back hatch leak.
Thought of going through the antenna too. It's still going to be subject to flexing, no easy way around that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If you pop the back of the headliner loose and pop the back seat reading lights you have pretty good access. Wear gloves to keep from getting smudges on the headliner. They all unclip. The shark fin is held on by one bolt and there's a gasket. You should have 2 or 3 wires going to the shark fin. Unhook them and see what room you have to work with. Theres a fair amount of dead space you can open and reseal. Just don't ruin any of the wiring. Make a small notch, some butyl tape and close it up.

The ELR is even easier. The alacantra roof is held on by magnets :p

Thought of going through the antenna too. It's still going to be subject to flexing, no easy way around that.
Great advice, thank you so much. How do you think I might go about closing it while not putting too much pressure on the wire coming from the outside? Would I have to cut a suitable size hole in the fin and seal it; possibly from the rear such that the opening isn't facing the wind? Surely keeping the bolt loose so there's enough space for the wire to fit is a terrible idea. The thickness of the mc4 connectors might probably be another problem too.

Also pardon my ignorance but what's an ELR? o.o This guy?

Before you go the the trouble of wiring it...you might check to see how much drag this solar panel will inflict on your current mpg numbers
I mean thin films are pretty freakin thin but yeah would expect some kind of efficiency loss. The panel production should be enough to make it a wash, environmentally speaking, though using no gas is always preferred.

Sounds lile a perpetual motion design to me......
It's not being used to power the car itself in any way whatsoever though...
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top