Portable Solar Charger / Trickle Charger accessories?
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Thread: Portable Solar Charger / Trickle Charger accessories?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Portable Solar Charger / Trickle Charger accessories?

    My Volt sits unplugged in my parking space at work for 9-10 hours, 5 days a week.
    With the summer months coming shortly, I'm thinking some sort of portable solar charger would be great for those daylight hours, even if it charges just a tiny bit, it's better than not charging at all, right?

    What would be great is if I could find a lightweight solar panel that plugs into the Volt's recharge port and charges it slowly during the day. I could just lay that panel flat on the hood or the roof of the car. Does something like that exist? Seems easy enough to build...

    I've seen little solar panels that plug in your cigarette lighter to trickle charge a car battery. If I used that in the Volt for the 12V accessories battery, would that have a positive effect on my electric range? I figure if the accessories battery is topped off, it might be less of a strain on the car's electric system. Does that make sense?

  2. #2
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    I think they might only be needed for long term air port parking.

    Charging and running the car seems to do a good job keeping the 12 volt battery charged.


    Frys had some interesting units on sale for $9.99 they were 12 Volts - 100 ma.

    about 4 in by 12 in / with power port plug AND battery jumper clips

    You will need to wire them in as the Cars power port relay shuts off after 10 mins or when leaving the car.
    -------------------
    I use them for charging Iphones in the field
    -------------------
    2012 RED Volt VIN:#C-8860 - Premium Leather Seats Jet Black with Dark Trim, Rear Camera & Park Assist, Nav
    09/29/2011 Ordered -- 11/15/2011 took it home

  3. #3
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    This has already been covered months ago.
    A small solar charger would not have any effect on the 10kw battery, especially in 10 hours.
    If there is a way to create a portable solar system with sufficient voltage & amperage to power the level 1 charger you might be able to charge up your car, but short of that you won't.

    Also you would need to charge into the charge port, the aux power port (cigarette lighter) does not work.

    At least this is what has been mentioned before.
    Present owner of : Summer White Volt with Black Leather Interior # E-4007.
    Former owner of : Summer White Volt with Neutral Interior # C-1521.

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  5. #4
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    You'll get a much better benefit keeping your tire pressure a couple of pounds higher....

    MrEnergyCzar
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  6. #5
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    delray
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    That's too bad... I too have the same issue..my volt sits in the Florida sun for 12+ hrs per day and I have no way to charge it... would be great if I could find out someway to charge it even if its just for 1kw.. so no way solar will get u anything? Even if covering who
    le roof and hood? What about portable battery to recharge?

  7. #6
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    I have posted a very similar thread a month ago and I was disapointed with the answers I got.

    The main issue seems to be with the constant current that the charger expects to recieve in order to charge the car. As small solar panels provide low intermitant current, the systems sees this as a fault with the supply and throws an error. You can get round the problem of setting the alarm off when the current drops due to cloud cover, by disabling the alarm on the cars settings. Although I have no idea if you can bypass the relay that turns the power assessories off. "If you listening, Chevrolet developers, please add this option to the next version of the cars operating system"

    I have not had delivery of my volt yet (should hopefully be in the next week or so..can't wait ) but I will be spending some time in trying to come up with a solution to this as I think that potentialy this is a real winner and a big oversight from chevy's point of view. The Fisker Karma does it so why not the chevy volt?

    The point everyone seems to be missing here is we are not looking to charge the car up from flat to fully charged in a day, we accept that unless we have a 10m2 array in a desert that this isnt gonna happen, however there are small 200w foldable solar panels available that could be stowed in the boot and in the right conditions, over the period of a day, could put enough charge back into the battery to get a a few miles down the road (est 3.8ml per KWh). And yes you could put a small solar charger on that huge volt dashboard to keep your 12v battery topped up which wouldn't get you any noticable range improvement but might help prolong the life of your 12v battery.

    I don't care if its not cost effective and that it would take me 25years to payback the value of the solar panel, the point is that I would have a vehicle, that in part at least, "runs on sunshine". This is not about economics its about independance and freedom from the state.

    In the UK we have the very real prospect of having years of intermitant power cuts due to the lack of investment in power stations and increasing demand for electricity plus we are under contant threat of being without petrol & diesel due to our tanker drivers holding our supply depots to ransom whilst protesting their wage settlements. If there is any possibility of running my volt on solar power then I intend to find it.

  8. #7
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    If you want to run on sunshine then you would be better off investing in a home solar grid tie system and get the electrons from that. A 200 watt panel orientated in the absolute correct angle at most will produce about 160 watts. This times 4 hrs of good sun on average per day will get you about 640 watts/hr. A 200 watt crystalline panel is about 3ft X 4ft. The flexible panels in the same range have to be about double that in size because they are about half as efficient at converting the photons.

    You can go to http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/calculat...ATTS/version1/ to get a good estimate for a 1Kw array, just divide your numbers by 5 to get a estimate for a 200 watt panel. It sure isn't going to be much. Make sure you enter the angle correctly. So I have 12.5 KW of panels on my house, on the best day out of the year it will produce in the AZ sun about 75kWh, much of the year it can be much less. Cloud cover can reduce your output substantially.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sphhants View Post
    The Fisker Karma does it so why not the chevy volt?
    Maybe because the Volt costs less than half what a Karma does?

    Seriously, the Volt engineers did a fantastic job balancing features and costs. If anything, I would rather have power seats than solar panels on the roof.
    #B2380, 2011 Crystal Red. Born 3/18/2011, adopted 4/9/2011
    #B2733, 2011 White Diamond. Born 4/4/2011, foster care 5/2/2011, adopted 11/29/2012
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  10. #9
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    When you play with solar power you start to get a strange obsession every time you see a square foot of ground in direct sun light not covered by a solar panel. Just be glad the EPA is not requiring us to have one sq foot of white for every sq foot of black.

    My old car had panels in the hatch-back to keep extra batteries charged for ham radio use lots of people though I had an electric car.

    As Solar-dave said put the work/money into a grid-tie or home use.
    2012 RED Volt VIN:#C-8860 - Premium Leather Seats Jet Black with Dark Trim, Rear Camera & Park Assist, Nav
    09/29/2011 Ordered -- 11/15/2011 took it home

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  12. #10
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    I was wondering if anyone has tried this solar charger, any input would be greatly appreciated.

    http://bit.ly/KBwFC8

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