PrairieLEAF
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am

Hello,

Pardon if this has been discussed before. I wasn't able to find any matching threads.

I am wondering if anyone has set up level 1, off-grid solar charging without using batteries in the charging system. Can an inverter and EVSE safely shut down and restart with interruptions in sunlight?

I am not looking for portability--the LEAF is at home during nearly all daytime hours in sunny Colorado on a property with unobstructed dawn-to-dusk sun.

Thank you,

Eric
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

webeleafowners
Posts: 923
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:37 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Oct 2015
Location: Okanagan Valley British Columbia

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:57 am

Hi Éric. Interesting question and sorry don’t know. I’ll be following this though.

It would maybe smooth things out a tad though if you added a couple AGM31 batteries. The sun could go behind a cloud for 10 or 20 minutes and the AGM’s would kick in. We use something like this as a backup systym for our fridge in case of a power outage.

Here is a shot. Bad camera angle and you can only see one battery. Good for a few days of outage if just running the fridge and a few LED lights through the house.

Image
2015 Smart Electric Drive convertible.
2016 Nissan Leaf SV 30KWh
EV only Family...well except for the big diesel motorhome. :shock:

goldbrick
Posts: 636
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:11 am

I'm installing a grid-tie system, hopefully this year before the full tax credits expire. If you're with Excel it's a pretty easy process to sell the power back to them.

You could probably rig up an L1 system but what do you do with the power when you're not charging? The power output from panels varies a LOT during the day and during the seasons. Trying to match that up to charging times seems like a lot more work than just using the grid as a giant buffer.

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am

Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000W-Solar-Gr ... QzE9jF42NA

Without a reverse-spinning meter, we might not have as much power bill savings but the power could offset whatever's being used in the house at the time, or be used elsewhere.

I'm hoping to deal with the utility and county as little as possible.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

rmay635703
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:36 am

Toyota uses a small NIMH battery buffer in their solar charging Prius if that is any help

webeleafowners
Posts: 923
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:37 pm
Delivery Date: 06 Oct 2015
Location: Okanagan Valley British Columbia

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:57 pm

PrairieLEAF wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this
How exactly does that work. How would it sync.
2015 Smart Electric Drive convertible.
2016 Nissan Leaf SV 30KWh
EV only Family...well except for the big diesel motorhome. :shock:

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:06 pm

That's interesting that the solar Prius uses a buffering battery. Maybe including a battery is the best way.
webeleafowners wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:57 pm
How exactly does that work. How would it sync.
They monitor the waveform at the grid end and then match the phase with the AC they produce, just at slightly higher voltage. It's kind of a smaller version of the inverters used in grid-tied solar installations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid-tie_inverter
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:28 am

I'm now leaning toward a small, grid-tied homemade solar array. The grid-tie inverter on Ebay is available in 240v output and 36v input. The garage where the LEAF charges has 240v and 120v outlets next to each other. Maybe I should just keep the solar and grid-tie inverter plugged into the garage and keep plugging the LEAF EVSE into the garage as well.

I'm thinking about putting the panels on a painted wooden frame (like my Dad just made) on top of the shipping container that's already here, next to the garage. Then it would be out of reach of destructive goats, and the container is easy to tie down to.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

Oilpan4
Gold Member
Posts: 957
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:10 am

PrairieLEAF wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000W-Solar-Gr ... QzE9jF42NA

Without a reverse-spinning meter, we might not have as much power bill savings but the power could offset whatever's being used in the house at the time, or be used elsewhere.

I'm hoping to deal with the utility and county as little as possible.
Those inverters are garbage. Do not buy anything like that.
2011 white SL leaf with 2014 batt.
Chargers: Panasonic brick moded for 240v, duosida 16a 240v and a 10kw setec portable CHAdeMO
Location: 88103

PrairieLEAF
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:58 am
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2019
Location: Weld County, Colorado

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:35 pm

Oilpan4 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:10 am
Those inverters are garbage. Do not buy anything like that.
Thanks. The more YouTube videos I watch about them, the less I want one.

I think I will abandon solar for now. I learned that our utility has 30 MW of nearby solar farms and over 3,000 rooftop connections. Me messing with a few panels probably isn't worth it.
2016 LEAF S-30 w/QC "Lexie"

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