Onlooker wrote:Several of the Leaf's I'm looking at have a level3 440VDC charging port. Does the Leaf itself have a controller to handle the level 3(440vDC) charging? I presume it does, as the communication/complexity needed for the other way around would be unlikely...
If a Leaf has a built-in controller is there a way to safely(from an electronics in the leaf standpoint) connect an array of solar panels directly to the 440VDC charging of the leaf? ie: Is there a wide working voltage range on the fast charge port?
I believe the CHAdeMO charge port just gives the external charging supply a direct connection to the vehicle's battery terminals (through a suitably robust contactor relay). The port's CAN pathway provides details about charging current and voltage limits, I believe, and possibly battery temperatures. I suspect the LEAF's battery controller updates those settings as charging progresses, and probably has a way to tell if the external equipment has gone berserk and can drop out its contactor if necessary to prevent overcharging (although that action is likely to be pretty violent).
It sounds as if your panel's max output current will probably still be just in the "trickle charge" range, so all you might need would be a way to clamp the panel's voltage to some suitable maximum, a hefty diode to prevent discharging through the panel, an impressive DC high voltage fuse or suitable fault protection, and maybe a contactor for your own side of things. You could set the clamp voltage conservatively, and accept that the charger wouldn't get you all the way to 100% unless you go to the effort of tapping into the port's CAN and extracting the necessary info.
Just letting the PV panel act as a trickle current source into whatever the vehicle's battery voltage was wouldn't necessarily extract the optimum power from the panel, but you couldn't beat it for simplicity.
You might check outthis video
by Jack Rickard; he's recently installed his own PV array dedicated to charging a hefty high-voltage battery pack to supply CHAdeMO car charging sessions from.