shay
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:52 pm

gascant wrote: Having said that, it would be cool to ventilate the LEAF while not plugged in and not using the battery.
I have always had the same thought.

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surfingslovak
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:12 pm

shay wrote:
gascant wrote: Having said that, it would be cool to ventilate the LEAF while not plugged in and not using the battery.
I have always had the same thought.
Thank you for setting up the thread, makes an interesting read. I was going to reference prior threads on the topic, but not all of them seem to be relevant. Perhaps this could be done later. If Nissan was considering this, and they did not want to come up with a solar roof option, they could simply use the space on the rear spoiler better. It appears that some prototype Leafs did just that: they had a solar panel twice of perhaps three times the size of the current one.

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cwerdna
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:52 am

shay wrote:
gascant wrote: Having said that, it would be cool to ventilate the LEAF while not plugged in and not using the battery.
I have always had the same thought.
They'd likely need to go w/a larger panel than the one on the Leaf now, like the one on the Prius' optional solar roof.

BTW, page 13 https://techinfo.toyota.com/techInfoPor ... dprius.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; discusses the panel's output.

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Ingineer
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:29 am

Guys, as an engineer, I can say that adding any amount of Solar panels to the body panels of the LEAF will not do hardly anything for range. Your best money and effort is to put these on your HOUSE where they can have the most benefit, and charge your LEAF from them, and the energy banked into the grid.

As someone pointed out, if you just added the extra weight of the panels in as more Lithium Ion, you'd do at least an order magnitude better for range!

The only practical use for a solar add on has already been pointed out, and demonstrated by Toyota: Ventilation. Toyota's rather expensive option only cools the car on a hot day, as that's all the current state of the art in solar can really do for a road going ton and a half vehicle.

For all the people that still think this is a good idea, PLEASE go take a high-school level physics class and come back with your reality.

Sorry to be a downer, but the Physics just don't work, even if we somehow double the efficiency of the existing photovoltaic materials available, or put the LEAF into Geosynchronous orbit at 22,000 miles up!

-Phil
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JRP3
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:52 am

I'll throw out another concept, the only way to actually claim the use of solar power for your driving is to use the solar panel output directly. Grid tie doesn't actually count since you can have grid tie solar with or without an EV, and the EV is just an extra draw on the grid. Will 100-200 watts of solar on the car itself make a real difference in your range? Probably not. But if you get 2-3 miles of range each day of your 20-30 mile commute from solar on the car then you've improved the emissions profile of your power use by 10%. I don't see an extra 40lbs or so as much of hit to your efficiency, does your range drop noticeably if you have your dog or kid in the car, or a bunch of groceries?

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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:06 am

GroundLoop wrote: This is the part I don't get. What's the educational/awareness value of putting an irrelevant solar trinket on the roof? Who learned what? So far, it's only the uneducated/misinformed that assign any value to it.
"So you never have to plug it in, because of that solahr-lectric thing on the spoiler? Awesome."
"Uh, no. It's a useless greenwashing stylistic element that serves no useful purpose whatsoever. It's back there actively giving solar panels a bad name. It would take the whole roof of that gas station to power this car."
It would be a welcomed teaching moment, you could go into detail on what it takes to power a city and the issues with solar, wind and PV.. mention dirty coal (you could bring a sample of coal dust in a jar.. like a boy scout, always be prepared) and then segue into the only real alternative.. advanced nuclear power and the damage that doom&gloomers are doing to our future.

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davewill
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:21 am

JRP3 wrote:I'll throw out another concept, the only way to actually claim the use of solar power for your driving is to use the solar panel output directly. Grid tie doesn't actually count ...
Utter bovine excrement.
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GaslessInSeattle
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:53 pm

Ingineer wrote:Guys, as an engineer, I can say that adding any amount of Solar panels to the body panels of the LEAF will not do hardly anything for range. Your best money and effort is to put these on your HOUSE where they can have the most benefit, and charge your LEAF from them, and the energy banked into the grid.

As someone pointed out, if you just added the extra weight of the panels in as more Lithium Ion, you'd do at least an order magnitude better for range!

The only practical use for a solar add on has already been pointed out, and demonstrated by Toyota: Ventilation. Toyota's rather expensive option only cools the car on a hot day, as that's all the current state of the art in solar can really do for a road going ton and a half vehicle.

For all the people that still think this is a good idea, PLEASE go take a high-school level physics class and come back with your reality.

Sorry to be a downer, but the Physics just don't work, even if we somehow double the efficiency of the existing photovoltaic materials available, or put the LEAF into Geosynchronous orbit at 22,000 miles up!

-Phil
Phil, I wonder how many folks who want to expand the solar panel on the Leaf actually think they would get much benefit from it in terms of range. I think the argument for the solar panel, affectionately known as the gimmick, is more in line with an early adapter's over all philosophy of supporting technology sometimes for it's own sake to help spur it along and for PR. One could argue that the $110K roadster wasn't exactly practical but it's hard to argue that it didn't help usher in the new age of EV's. Solar panels on cars could help spread awareness of PV in a similar way. The $70 LED lightbulb comes to mind, many early adapters bought them to support the technology and help it reach economy of scale, don't ask about the ROI, you could certainly do better in the stock market ... I was in that boat and I went for the gimmick on the Leaf for the same reason. I also see it as a seed concept, encouraging people to think about where and how that electricity that will be charging millions of cars in the near future is coming from. Without careful thought, electric cars may very well spur the next nuclear energy revolution if they become widely adopted, at least some will argue that, even though EV's stand to reduce baseload waste. Many people will assume that the only way to fully electrify the highways is to support expansion of traditional power plants. I think promoting renewable energy and EV's needs to go hand in hand, kind of a no brainer for most of us, but not so much for the mainstream that we hope will adopt this technology.

As a fashion statement, a flag for alternative energy, a mind opener, I have no problem with people wanting to expand the solar panel concept on the Leaf, no less justifiable than lowering the suspension or some other personal preference, but yes the latest in PV, applied to the car, is hardly going to add a drop in the energy bucket for these cars but it could help to expand consciousness and some will find that compelling. I do think there is an argument for having a full roof top and even hood option available, forget about practical, it would be cool!
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davewill
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:26 pm

GaslessInSeattle wrote:... One could argue that the $110K roadster wasn't exactly practical but it's hard to argue that it didn't help usher in the new age of EV's. Solar panels on cars could help spread awareness of PV in a similar way. The $70 LED lightbulb comes to mind, many early adapters bought them to support the technology and help it reach economy of scale, don't ask about the ROI, you could certainly do better in the stock market ...
But the $110k roadster and the $70 LED flashlight actually worked as a usable car and a usable flashlight...something that mounting a solar panels on a LEAF's doesn't achieve.
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Ingineer
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Re: larger solar panel/solar roof on Leaf thread

Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:40 pm

davewill wrote:
GaslessInSeattle wrote:... One could argue that the $110K roadster wasn't exactly practical but it's hard to argue that it didn't help usher in the new age of EV's. Solar panels on cars could help spread awareness of PV in a similar way. The $70 LED lightbulb comes to mind, many early adapters bought them to support the technology and help it reach economy of scale, don't ask about the ROI, you could certainly do better in the stock market ...
But the $110k roadster and the $70 LED flashlight actually worked as a usable car and a usable flashlight...something that mounting a solar panels on a LEAF's doesn't achieve.
I can see the point, but it could also backfire in representing to the common lay-person that you could drive the LEAF on solar power and not have to plug in. Not only would it really not change in any way how you operate the car, it would be somewhat deceptive.

Personally, if I lived in San Diego, Dallas, or somewhere else where there is a lot of sun, I would pay an extra $1k to get the Solar ventilation option. (Like Toyota offers on the Prius) Just keeping the car cool in when parked in the summer sun could offset the hit to the pack from running the A/C full bore upon returning to the car, and also drastically improve comfort.

But connecting said solar array to the pack wouldn't do much unless you park for weeks at a time in the sun and seldom drive.

As I said, put it on your house, then you get dual-benefits!

-Phil
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