Precise1
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:17 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:52 pm
Yeah, we looked into solar here, but the slate roof and relatively narrow South yard prohibited it. We do have one big solar thermal panel, and I wish we'd gotten two of them side by side. Our hydro plant is 3/4 of a mile from us, at least.
Yeah, retrofitting solar isn't always easy. I was lucky that my house is a cheap tract home with a huge south facing roof face with little to no shade. Hot as hell in the summer, but the grid tied solar system that would fit perfectly would also help with the heat too.
A little ways out... ($)

One thing that many people don't consider is that solar doesn't necessarily have to be on the roof. I've seen some nice systems along a fence in the back yard with planters underneath, and there is always the pole mounted array option which has the advantage of being taken down for winter (if that matters) and being able to pivot during the day to maximize collection. Then there is a rack mount...
You probably have more options than you think. (I'm a big solar proponent if you can't tell)

Precise1
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:23 pm

PrairieLEAF wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:23 am
Precise1 wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:04 pm
I dabble with off grid solar, work for an EV company, and own a Leaf, so here is what I know:

The lowest rate my evcs (charging thingie) works at is 110v/8 amps; that's 880 watts. I currently have a 400w solar array with a 5kw/hr lead acid battery bank and a 900w true sine power inverter. I did a test run on a bright day to see if it could charge a 2015 Leaf. Yes, but it was pushing it to the max!
I am currently upgrading the system to 600w solar array, 6.5kw/hr lifepo4 battery bank and a 1500w true sine power inverter. This would be able to reasonably charge the Leaf in sunny conditions, but not in one day, and I would definitely monitor the battery condition (L1 takes 20ish hours for a full charge). Still, in an emergency this is far better than nothing, and this system wasn't intended for this purpose, it is my emergency power for the house.

What I would recommend is at least 1000w solar system, 1200 preffrable due to losses (1500 w perfect), and a basic deep cycle battery (100 ahr minimum) as a buffer/reserve that you can use for other purposes. Your true sine power inverter should be no less than 1000w, 1200 would be better.
That system would do the trick, and be good to have regardless.

Is there a reason you want a direct batteryless charging system other than cost, because I don't think that would be a good idea.
Thanks for your findings!

Minimalism was a motivator for not wanting to include battery storage. My recent interest has shifted to building a micro camping trailer with enough unfolding solar power to be able to L1 charge the EV tow rig when camping. This would include battery storage (which would also supply the camping electrical demand) but would probably be at least several years out (if ever).
You are welcome. If you want more info, just ask.
The trailer idea sounds good, but may be hard to do. The sheer surface area of the panels required... the rack that is light weight yet sturdy, adjustable and solid enough to withstand wind... sufficient battery capacity... *shrug*
Not trying to be a buzz kill, but I'm a machinist, mechanic, welder and electronics guy in that order. I've designed and built a few things... I consider that a challenging project regardless of budget.

I'd love for you to prove me wrong though! ;)

Precise1
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:51 pm

salyavin wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:06 pm
LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:52 pm
Yeah, we looked into solar here, but the slate roof and relatively narrow South yard prohibited it. We do have one big solar thermal panel, and I wish we'd gotten two of them side by side. Our hydro plant is 3/4 of a mile from us, at least.
Glad to see you have on hydro power. If your roof does not allow solar out here we have community solar you can buy into. Our most "famous" eco car mechanic in colorado lives in an apartment and buys into a solar farm to get equivalent power, not sure if New York has a similar option. Basically a bunch of panels out in a fiend somewhere.

PrarieLEAF being that he is looking at not being grid tied could build a huge farm but not much point unless you get batteries to store it, I almost want to introduce him to a guy in southern wyoming who has windmills and solar and the largest tesla wall installation in Wyoming (not the country just Wyoming) he as you can imagine is rural east of Cheyenne. When you have land like that you can do impressive things.

I am grid tied with Xcel so I am limited to 120% production based on my usage over year at design time. Less than two miles from my house power companies change and they are less solar friendly, have demand charges all kinds of fun so my solar EV driving friends charge at l1 and and putting in home batteries.
Home batteries: I'm building one out of used lifepo4 units that are 3.3v/120ahr each. 2P 4S gives me a 13.2v/240ahr battery, so I built two and will end up with a 26.4v/240ahr system. (6.5 kwhr)
My last set up was 2 L16 lead acid 6Vs in series with 400ahr each. (5kwhr) The new battery will be far superior due to flat discharge voltage and no memory issues.

I'm really not trying to promote where I work, just using it as an example.
3.3V/100ahr lifepo4 cells for $50/ea. $400+ some hardware would get you a 13.2v/200ahr lithium battery pack... that's some serious battery.
Used Nissan Leaf modules: 7.5v/60ahr... $110 ea, buy 4 and have 15v/120ahr for $440.
There are way more battery option available, regardless of from who.

Think outside the box folks... You can buy prebuilt things for a premuim, or you can build your own batteries for WAY less. *shrug*

LeftieBiker
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:03 pm

I did look seriously at solar, but there is a business next door that shades the fence line and would shade any realistic pole array. The South wall of the house gets a fair amount of sun, but it makes more sense to me to spend money on EVs than on solar when we have hydro. One of the Web solar calculators rated our solar prospects as "marginal" IIRC.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

goldbrick
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:12 pm

Since we're on the subject, how much storage is required to go off-grid? I'm thinking of buying my dad's farm and there is plenty of room for ground mounted solar, geo-thermal heating/cooling, etc. There is even a hill that could be used to pump water up during the day for use to generate power 24/7. While that would work, it's more than I want to take on.

So the simplest thing seems to just use some old Leaf batteries (I bought him a 2013 SV). But how much storage is enough? It's a cloudy midwest climate and 15 miles south of the MN border but has full southern exposure. I'd assme at least some solar gain every day and I could put in plenty of panels. But then too many panels in the summer and what do you do with the extra power?

LeftieBiker
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:38 pm

Estimate your daily load and then multiply it by 5-7 if you want to be off the grid, or three if you don't but want to use mainly solar.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

PrairieLEAF
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:42 am

salyavin wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:44 pm
Did you see this story? Claims of a portable solar charging for a car so stationary should be even easier.

https://www.globaltrends.us/2021/03/man ... e-his.html
Very cool! Laying the panels out on the ground could really simplify things! The setup in the example is a faster charging rate than I have in mind, so I wouldn't need as many panels. Having a stack of panels stored inside the trailer would also be stealthier, easier, less expensive, and lighter-weight than a custom-built unfolding solar rack on the outside. Thanks! Maybe I could even omit the trailer! The solar LEAF charging videos on Youtube are interesting.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

Precise1
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:03 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:03 pm
I did look seriously at solar, but there is a business next door that shades the fence line and would shade any realistic pole array. The South wall of the house gets a fair amount of sun, but it makes more sense to me to spend money on EVs than on solar when we have hydro. One of the Web solar calculators rated our solar prospects as "marginal" IIRC.
Ok, you did your homework. Solar doesn't work perfectly for everyone, but it is nice to have even a small system for if/when the grid goes down. *shrug*

GoldBrick: Leftie is giving you good info, so I don't have much to add. The water idea is a good one, but you need a lot of flow. I recall looking into a 2kw hydro generator with 3 moving stainless steel pieces that required a 2" pipe and 3' of head. The best way to make use of that would be by redirecting flow from a creek or spring. You could always just set up a water tower and use that for power any time you use it.

Batteries, batteries, batteries, and schedule your power use as much as possible for when the sun shines. ;)

Oilpan4
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Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:38 am

The main problem with solar is even in new mexico with around 300 days of sun shine a year I still get 1kwh production days with 10kw worth of panels.
If you want to go off grid you better have enough battery for how ever many days the sun don't shine then be able to charge that battery back up with 1 or 2 days of sun after however many days with no sun.
Either way you will need a good liquid fuel fired generator.
Anyone who tells you they personally don't need a generator either has an enormous batt bank or is killing their battery with deep cycling and won't admit it.
"THE ABOVE POST CONTAINS MISLEADING AND INACCURATE INFORMATION. PLEASE CONSIDER IT OPINION, NOT FACT". -someone who I offended and is unable to produce the facts in question.

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