brucevan
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:20 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 313631

Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:44 am

I love my 2016 Leaf and use both Levels I and II grid charging at home.

I am thinking of getting an 8-panel off-grid solar system with charge controller for two (or more) 200AH Deep Cycle batteries and a 1,000 watt (or 2,000 watt) Off-Grid Pure-Sine Wave Battery inverter.

I would like to, at least occasionally, partially charge my Leaf with Level I charging from the inverter in the above-described solar system.

I would appreciate it if any who are knowledgeable on charging a Leaf with solar could comment. Thanks!

Tsiah
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:52 am
Delivery Date: 15 Jan 2017

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:16 pm

I don't have any first hand experience with it, but it is possible to set up an OpenEVSE to charge only when solar is available.
I'm still learning the tricks to the commands through the WiFi in the OpenEVSE.

There's also a combination EVSE/solar inverter manufactured by SolarEdge.

You're not going to charge very quickly at 1-2kWh. 1.1kWh is all you get out of the stock EVSE 120V@12A.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:13 pm

The stock Nissan 120-volt EVSE allows the car to draw 12 amperes so you will need an inverter rated at least 1500 watts continuous (2000 watts would be better to provide some reserve and avoid running the electronics at 100% current). You will also need to have the neutral of the inverter grounded for the EVSE to allow charging (most inverters and portable generators have neutral floating instead of solidly grounded so a temporary grounding jumper is needed). There are several threads regarding charging from portable generators that explain this issue.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

brucevan
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:20 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 313631

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:03 pm

Thanks Tsiah and GerryAZ.

This is what I'm going to try: Renogy 500 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit (includes 40 amp Charge Controller), 2 X Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Batteries 12 Volt 100Ah, and a Renogy 2000W 12V Off-Grid Pure-Sine Wave Battery Inverter w/ Cables.

I will be sure the inverter neutral is grounded.

In theory, this should work. I'll post here how it works out. I know Level I is slow of course. Not sure how long it will take AGM batteries to discharge. Should get this set up in about 2 weeks. I'm in Florida so lots of sun even this time of year.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:57 pm

You should be able to charge for an hour (maybe a little longer) if you start with fully-charged 12-volt deep cycle batteries. Let us know how well it works.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

BrockWI
Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
Delivery Date: 28 Mar 2014
Leaf Number: 423875
Location: Green Bay, WI.
Contact: Website

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:19 pm

I have done this with two 12v 100 amp batteries and a xantrex 2000w true sine wave inverter. It runs about 40-45 minutes before going in to low voltage alarm drawing about 125 amps. The batteries aren't dead but with such a large load the voltage just sag's to much. You will need at least 300 amps at 12v if you want to run the stock EVSE for an hour and for the sake of the batteries I would recommend at least 400 amps to run an hour.
3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - 8 L16's
4 ton GSHP
2003 VW TDI 170k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
evse level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013

brucevan
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:20 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 313631

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:34 am

From the comments it looks like the maximum time I will get charging my Leaf with the stock EVSE from two 100AH AGM deep-cycle batteries will be about an hour (if that).

My original calculations were: Two fully charged 100AH batteries can deliver 50% of their capacity -- 100AH. Now, if the stock EVSE draws 1,440 watts (12A X 120V) wouldn't I get about 8 hours before depletion (100AH/12Amps = 8 hours).

If the EVSE is the only draw -- 1,440W on the 2,000W inverter -- it is well below the inverter capacity. Maybe the problem lies with the batteries not being able to handle a strong continuous draw. If so would a larger battery bank help?

What am I missing here? All comments welcome.

magico13
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:39 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:55 am

You're forgetting about voltage. AHr is only half of the equation when looking at energy storage, you really need to think about kwh, which is more useful here.

Let's say you can pull half of the energy out of the batteries safely, so 50AHrs each at 12 V gives you 1200 watt-hours or 1.2 killowatt-hours. Your EVSE draws 1.2 amps at 120 volts, for 1.44 killowatts. If you want to figure out how much time you'll get before you run empty, just take the total energy and divide it by the rate of usage, so 1.2 kwh / 1.44 kw = 0.83 hours, or about 50 minutes.

Your LEAF battery is probably around 75 Ahr or so but has WAY more energy stored than your little 100AHr batteries because the voltage is 30 times higher. Compare 75Ahr x 360V = 27kwh to the 1.2kwh present in your batteries. It's pretty clear you'll need substantially more storage and generation to charge your car for more than a tiny bit using solar.

Your original calculation can be useful, but remember that you'll put 12 amps out of the inverter, but going into the inverter you're going to have to pull 1440 watts out of the batteries, or 120 amps. Again it's clear your 100Ahr of batteries won't last long with 120 amps coming off them. 100Ahr / 120 amps = 0.83 hours = 50 minutes.
2015 SV w/ QC

brucevan
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:20 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 313631

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:02 am

Thanks magico13, that explains a lot. I'm still learning this electric stuff

SageBrush
Posts: 1407
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Charging My 2016 Leaf With Solar

Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:05 am

Bruce,
Why are you keeping the panels off-grid ?
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

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