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Anyone have a solar charging station?
#1
I'm thinking of building a solar charging station for my Solo. One thing we have plenty of in west Texas is sun. I don't want to reinvent the wheel so if anyone has one or a link to a good website I would really appreciate the information.
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#2
(02-09-2017, 09:04 PM)Texas2gun Wrote: I'm thinking of building a solar charging station for my Solo. One thing we have plenty of in west Texas is sun. I don't want to reinvent the wheel so if anyone has one or a link to a good website I would really appreciate the information.

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#3
(02-09-2017, 09:04 PM)Texas2gun Wrote: I'm thinking of building a solar charging station for my Solo. One thing we have plenty of in west Texas is sun. I don't want to reinvent the wheel so if anyone has one or a link to a good website I would really appreciate the information.

I don't have one yet, but I have plenty of ideas on the subject.

If you build a big solar farm, there's no problem at all plugging in your Solo through a suitable inverter generating 3.3kw of 120V or 7kw of 240V AC.

If you want to minimize the size of your array of solar panels, add a battery that can store a few hundred or a few thousand Wh. Then connect an inverter that can deliver 3.3 or 7 kw AC at 120 or 240V. When you plug in the car it will drain the battery more or less promptly and the inverter will disconnect but the solar panels will recharge it again and you can cycle along that way until the car is charged. The fastest charge will be with about a 20kWh battery so that the Solo can charge without completely discharging the battery. Batteries are expensive. Solar panels are somewhat expensive. You can mix and match the size of solar panels and battery and inverter to most suit your pattern. If you use the car every day, you probably want a big battery so that you can charge even if it's cloudy.

It would really help if EM published data on the specifications for the power needed. Will the Solo charge if the AC voltage sags or will it disconnect? The EV charger is supposed to negotiate current/voltage with the car. What ranges are acceptable?

The battery for this application should be a "deep discharge" type. The best might be NiFe but they are very heavy to ship and only made in a few places. Deep discharge lead acid are pretty cheap but only last a few years, so what you save on the purchase you lose on the replacement. NiFe will last decades.

There are other energy-storage devices that can replace a battery like pumping water uphill to a reservoir and turning it loose on a water-turbine to turn an alternator, compressing air, electrolyzing water to hydrogen and running that into a fuel-cell or engine, or spinning a huge flywheel... or... but batteries are pretty simple and reliable.

EM could save all the DIYers a lot of trouble by providing a DC connection that would take whatever voltage a solar panel array puts out and convert the voltage to what the battery needs. All they really would have to specify was what was the voltage range acceptable and what was the minimum power requirement. A converter in the car would do the job just as they do now for an AC input. Alternatively they could sell a unit that plugs directly to the Solo's battery to manage the charging.

However, everyone has 120VAC so EM is not likely to divert resources to alternative energy sources until they are filling the backlog of orders...
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