PeteSchwartz wrote:I bought a 2014 Leaf yesterday.
Congratulations and welcome to the LEAF forum!
PeteSchwartz wrote:At Cal Poly, my research students and I are developing ways to directly use DC electricity from solar panels. I’m interested to innovate a way to charge the Leaf directly from solar panels - both from my (not grid tied) home system as well as with onboard PV that we will design.
I'm not a fan of PV-based direct-DC charging. You can read some discussion of that topic here
. Even if your home is not grid tied, there may be real benefits to using AC instead of DC for charging the LEAF.
PeteSchwartz wrote:How can I do this?:
1) Where can I learn the details of the charging system?
There are bits and pieces of data throughout this forum. I'm not sure where there is a detailed, comprehensive set of data on the LEAF's OBC. OTOH, the ChaDeMo (DC) port should follow a standard which is published and public, so that may be a place to start.
PeteSchwartz wrote:2) If the first thing that the AC charging system does is rectify the input power (which I don't know is the case), then could I not just run the DC output from solar panels into the AC port?
Probably not, since the *first* thing that is likely done is to verify that the signal is a proper sinusoid meeting certain specifications *before* the EVSE even connects the AC to the vehicle.
PeteSchwartz wrote:If the subsequent processing is to transform the rectified electricity to high voltage for the battery pack, then could the input voltage be lower than 110 V?
No. The input voltage needs to be within certain ranges (one range for 120 VAC and one range for 240 VAC input). The current drawn depends upon in which range the voltage is found (lower current for 120 VAC and higher current for 240 VAC).
I think a related, similar project would be to look at the LEAF not only as a load, but also as an integral part of the energy system for the house. Nissan has made some overly-expensive efforts in this direction for the Japanese market. Search here and on the web for "LEAF-to-Home".
As for me, I would like to have a 2500-VA (or higher) bidirectional charger/inverter for the ChaDeMo port. I could find a lot of uses for such a device.
Finally, please have a look at the Solar subforum down below in the listings. We have discussed many topics related to homes, PV, batteries, etc. This topic has been raised a few times there, including in the thread I linked above.
Good luck with your projects...and be careful to not let the smoke out of your LEAF!