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Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:07 pm
by GeekEV
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

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:07 pm
by GaslessInSeattle
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!

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:18 pm
by EVerlasting
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-so ... 68692.html

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:28 am
by lion
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.

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:07 am
by blueblob06
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-so ... 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!

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:05 pm
by jimbo69ny
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:12 pm
by liuguoqing351
I'm in China, leaf China Version, and I've removed this feature. Nissan always does this in China

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:46 pm
by Rodriguez
Just curious, why did you choose to remove the panel?

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:38 pm
by EVerlasting
Rodriguez wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:46 pm
Just curious, why did you choose to remove the panel?
I think he meant that Nissan removed this feature in China LEAFs.

Re: use of solar panel at spoiler on roof?

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:27 pm
by Lothsahn
Testing of the Nissan's Solar panel showed that it put out a measly 13V or so. Enough to maintain the battery in direct sunlight, but not charge it. It may slow the drain of the battery, but it's widely considered useless.

You're probably much better off replacing the Nissan made panel with a quality auto solar maintainer. You could wire it into the same harness and get an actual benefit.