Saildog
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:20 am
Delivery Date: 24 Aug 2017

Charging while driving

Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:31 am

I do not have a Nissan Leaf yet, but I am considering buying one.

While driving around town I intend to use the car normally.

For long trips I was wondering whether it would be possible to tow a small trailer that contains a diesel generator (genset) that would be running and connected to the cars charging socket.

If this is possible what size should the genset be? Or in other words what is the kWh drain while the car is cruising at say 100kmh (60mph). The genset capacity should be around 20% more than that so that it can also charge the battery if it is drained while climbing a hill etc.

Sorry if this topic has been raised before. I looked for it, but couldn't find it.

Reddy
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Charging while driving

Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:46 pm

Yes, done before by Phil (Ingineer), probably back in 2011 or so. Google or do an old search. Oh, yes, and don't forget, you need to know what you're doing. Since you asked, I'm guessing that you don't have the necessary skills (just like the rest of us 99.9999999%) ;)
Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 46.44 AHr; 40,067 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

estomax
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:23 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Jan 2017
Location: Seattle

Re: Charging while driving

Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:20 pm

hm.. do you have that old info handy? sounds like an interesting read. a quick google didn't pull anything up.

Marko
2013 Leaf SL Premium
27k, 93% SoH, 2/17
32k, 96% SoH, 6/17
37k, 92% SoH, 9/17

macnut
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 10:14 am
Leaf Number: 023581
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Charging while driving

Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:25 pm

2012 SL Pearl White
06/2012 build date (38K miles, 10 bars, 76.54% SOH, 58.37%Hx, 50.72Ahr @ 09/2017)
Michelin Defenders & Nokian WR G3
Tor's heater mod

Reddy
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:09 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 006828
Location: Pasco, WA

Re: Charging while driving

Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:36 pm

Reddy
2011 SL; 9 bar, 46.44 AHr; 40,067 mi; rcv'd Aug 18, 2011
Long: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... al#p226115"
Cold: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 60#p243033"

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jlv
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:08 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2014
Leaf Number: 424487
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Charging while driving

Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:33 am

Saildog wrote:For long trips I was wondering whether it would be possible to tow a small trailer that contains a diesel generator (genset) that would be running and connected to the cars charging socket.
Every time I read this sort of question, I wonder why people don't just buy a car with a built-in generator (Volt, i3+rex) rather than trying to cobble together what will likely be a poorer performing and higher polluting alternative solution.
'13 SL+Prem (mfg 12/13, leased 4/14, bought 5/17)Tesla S 75D (3/17)
Model 3 reservation
(Probably no LEAF2 for me)

SageBrush
Posts: 1412
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Charging while driving

Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:48 am

jlv wrote:
Saildog wrote:For long trips I was wondering whether it would be possible to tow a small trailer that contains a diesel generator (genset) that would be running and connected to the cars charging socket.
Every time I read this sort of question, I wonder why people don't just buy a car with a built-in generator (Volt, i3+rex) rather than trying to cobble together what will likely be a poorer performing and higher polluting alternative solution.

Add Toyota Prius Prime to the plug-in hybrid list.

We have a Prime and like it a lot. The battery is on the small side but the car is so efficient it does a lot better than most people might guess. It is also pretty inexpensive after tax breaks and can be expected to have Toyota Prius reliability.
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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davewill
Posts: 4810
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm
Location: San Diego, CA, US

Re: Charging while driving

Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:08 am

Saildog wrote:...For long trips I was wondering whether it would be possible to tow a small trailer that contains a diesel generator (genset) that would be running and connected to the cars charging socket.
...
Sorry if this topic has been raised before. I looked for it, but couldn't find it.

It has been raised endlessly, almost as often as guys wanting to charge their cars with a couple of solar panels bungied to the roof. The answer to your question is NO. The AC charger cannot be run while the car is on, so you CANNOT use an AC generator to charge the car while moving.

What Ingineer did was connect a DC generator directly to the HV bus of the car, which DOES work, but will cost you big money and require custom hardware. Unless you are an electrical engineer or a EV mechanic, it is likely outside your capability.

BTW, the solar panel idea is a bust, too. It would require all of the expertise mentioned, plus you could barely get a handful of miles added even if you left the car in the sun all day long.
2014 Rav4 EV, Blizzard Pearl White
2011 LEAF SL w/QC, Blue Ocean, returned at end of lease

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IssacZachary
Forum Supporter
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 am
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2016
Leaf Number: 420789
Location: Gunnison, CO, USA

Re: Charging while driving

Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:12 pm

jlv wrote:
Saildog wrote:For long trips I was wondering whether it would be possible to tow a small trailer that contains a diesel generator (genset) that would be running and connected to the cars charging socket.
Every time I read this sort of question, I wonder why people don't just buy a car with a built-in generator (Volt, i3+rex) rather than trying to cobble together what will likely be a poorer performing and higher polluting alternative solution.

Probably because you can pickup a used Leaf for $5,000 and if your trailer motor blows up you still have a car. You also don't have to lug around an engine you don't need 90% of the time. I pay just a bit over $200 per month for my Leaf and will have it paid off in just a few months, which is a lot less than the $329 per month it costs to lease a BMW i3 with range extender.

To answer the OP's question, a Leaf draws around 15kW/20hp at 100kph/60mph. The easiest way to hook an engine up to a trailer on a Leaf is to hook the engine to the wheels on the trailer, which is known as a pusher trailer configuration. That completely avoids the hassle of carefully hacking into the high voltage system on the Leaf. It can still charge the Leaf by providing more power than necessary to push the Leaf at your desired speed. The Leaf will then regen and use that extra power to charge the battery.

Another idea is to buy a separate AC on-board charger. There are 3 phase ones designed by Brusa, some as big as 20kW if I remember correctly. Then get a large 3 phase genset and put it on your trailer.

Or work up your own DC charging system. If you use a Capstone turbine engine you can have low emissions, low enough to be highway certified even in California.
2013 SL 45,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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