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GeekEV
Posts: 1825
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:11 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 0308
Location: NorCal, USA

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:07 pm

In theory if you modified your "power plug" jack to be "always on" instead of "ignition on", the solar panel could provide enough continuous juice to charge your cell phone all day. But, then again, so could the 12v battery by itself. :D

2014 Chevy Spark EV 2LT
2013 Tesla Model S 60kWh[/url]
AV L2 EVSE + kWh meter
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GaslessInSeattle
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:15 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 850

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:07 pm

gregoryjward wrote:
GeekEV wrote:
gregoryjward wrote:I've been attempting to measure whether the solar panels are charging the battery or not. I have full sun on them around noon and am monitoring the 12-volt battery at around 12.62 volts on my digital voltmeter. Covering the panels doesn't change the voltage at all, even after waiting several minutes. Uncovering the panels again likewise does nothing. There should be at least a small change in voltage if the panel is charging the battery.

In the service manual it looks like the solar panel is more-or-less directly wired to the 12v battery. As a result, you're probably measuring "backflow" from the actual 12v battery. The proper testing procedure, according to the service manual, is to disconnect the 12v battery negative terminal, then measure the voltage across the positive and negative terminals. That will effectively remove the battery from the equation...


I replied to this once, but my post got lost(?)

Thanks GeekEV for the tip -- I tried it and indeed the solar panel provides voltage to the system with the battery disconnected. Covering the panel causes the voltage to drop from 12 (or so) down to 1 or 2 volts, proving that the panel *is* doing something.

My faith is restored that it isn't a completely empty marketing ploy, at least.

-Greg


After having so many people ask me about the solar panel with excitement, I do think it's worth having as an arrow pointing people in a good direction and it may even help inspire some to take the extra step to installing a substantial solar array on their house. we can hope!
Gasless: Silver 2012 SL, traded in for Lease on 1/13
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EVerlasting
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:20 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Jul 2013
Leaf Number: 017329
Location: Morristown, NJ, United States

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:18 pm

I have been using a 1.5 Watt solar panel to keep my ICE car's and ICE motorcycles' batteries topped up when I am not driving/riding the vehicles. Although it says 1.5 Watt, it only gives out a few milliamps of output current. The solar panel trickle charges the batteries very well. I have been using them since five years and the batteries are still working. I am very confident that Nissan Leaf's spoiler solar panel is even better than my cheap solar panel, so it definitely helps keep the 12V battery charged up. These solar panels work even in overcast, cloudy skies and even under fluorescent lighting in garages. Although the current is tiny under such situations, it still manages to prevent the 12V battery losing charge. If it is unable to increase charge, it will at least maintain the charge. Most batteries lose charge with time even without any power draw. Here's what I have been using, these are available with different name brands from different retailers but overall they are the same thing from China:
Image
http://www.harborfreight.com/15-watt-solar-battery-charger-68692.html
Last edited by EVerlasting on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lion
Posts: 557
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:23 pm
Delivery Date: 22 May 2013

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:28 am

Has anyone tried to access the panel wire directly? I'd love to charge a small lithium-ion battery, and have that battery power my dashcam recorder while the car is turned off, instead of using one of those add-ons which can cut power to the cam when the 12V battery drops below a certain voltage.

blueblob06
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:10 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact: Website

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:07 am

EVerlasting wrote:I have been using a 1.5 Watt solar panel to keep my ICE cars and ICE motorcycle batteries topped up when I am not driving/riding the vehicles. Although it says 1.5 Watt, it only gives out a few milliamps of output current. The solar panel trickle charges the batteries very well. I have been using them since five years and the batteries are still working. I am very confident that Nissan Leaf's spoiler solar panel is even better than my cheap solar panel, so it definitely helps keep the 12V battery charged up. These solar panels work even in overcast, cloudy skies and even under fluorescent lighting in garages. Although the current is tiny under such situations, it still manages to prevent the 12V battery losing charge. If it is unable to increase charge, it will at least maintain the charge. Most batteries lose charge with time even without any power draw. Here's what I have been using, these are available with different name brands from different retailers but overall they are the same thing from China:
Image
http://www.harborfreight.com/15-watt-solar-battery-charger-68692.html

I used one of these in my car for quite a while. I had a cheaper, run of the mill battery, and it lasted a good 7 years even with me not plugging it in all that often. It was my understanding that the battery I had would normally last about 4 years so not bad at all!
Got a 2015 Black Leaf SV 9-8-15 - 3 yr Lease
Cincinnati, OH

jimbo69ny
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:23 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Aug 2014
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact: Website

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:05 pm

Old thread I know. But I thought Id let you guys know I just found an oem panel on ebay for $179.99. I thought it seemed pretty reasonable considering its an OEM part.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/296E0-3NA0A-Nis ... fresh=true
2014 Rav EV #3364
2012 Plug in Prius

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