2010 Solar Roof Temperature Report

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by snoctor, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. SR1227

    SR1227 New Member

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    I think he meant to ask whether the sunroof tilts, and it does tilt open. I do that and crack the inner cover just a bit to let out the hot air, but not too much light in. The fan does keep temps reasonable, but there are a few times when the windows still let in enough light to get the leather seats toasty.
     
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  2. dsviv

    dsviv Member

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    I am able to start the remote a/c from my 1st floor closed office window.

    I don't have a choice in the direction of parking the car, so the best I can do is the heatshield.
    I really hadn't considered tinting the windows bc I am afraid of aftermarket screwups. Anyone have any experience with a reputable window tinting co. in eastern PA?
     
  3. Chrome

    Chrome New Member

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    But wouldn't those tips work on ANY car?
     
  4. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    Personally I'm quite pleased with the initial cooling of the Prius - I have a V so, no solar. Live in Fl with associated hot sun. Of course the interior gets quite hot after parked in the sun for some time, but subjectively seems to be 'less hot' than the last few cars I've had. The Prius is my first without a sunroof. Not sure if the sheet metal roof is better to reflect solar/heat than glass. And, except for the dark dash panel, the interior is very light. I do use the SunShield when parked for more than 10 min and the front directly in the sun.

    This all said, even though the interior may be hot when entering, the windows auto-down is great. And the Prius AC is quite powerful. The first month of my '10s life, I was wondering why the AC didn't spool up very quickly. Then realized that the drive mode was ECO - and the associated lessened AC drive. Now - with ECO off and the AC on Auto, the fan speed goes to high quickly. With cool air driven from the vents quickly as well. Don't know what tech Toyota engineers employed to respond so well - but great job! The car's interior cools down quite rapidly.
    Would I like the solar roof? Of course - but the V tradeoff put the brakes on that. Glad to hear most of you solar owners are pleased. Should be very good for trade-in value as well. If you ever give it up...

    It will be interesting to see a comprehensive report on all phases and temp impact of the solar roof system.

    Off topic - but I would certainly consider an aftermarket sunroof if one is ever perfected for the '10. I've seen the various posts on this but too risky at this point.
     
  5. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    How are you measuring your temps? I use an IR thermometer and point to a non-sun exposed location (i.e. accelerator pedal location). Doing so, I find a 10-15F differential between inside and outside. The air blowing in when it's 110+ outside is a bit warmer (up to 10F warmer) due to solar gain from the black intake grill at the base of the windshield.

    There's really no good reason to crack the windows though - this doesn't allow the air to flow through the entire length of the vehicle before exiting the vents toward the rear of the car. Personally, I want the entire car to be cool, not just the front portion of it.

    Resonating what others said - the heatshield of other similar device is a must even w/ solar to limit the solar gain on the dash. Tinting would likely help too - still need to get it done on my car (no time).
     
  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I would really like a sunroof, but the more I hear about the solar panels the more it just confirms to me that at this point the solar panel is mostly just an advertising gimmic.

    Before Solar Panel lovers jump all over me, yes I'm sure it helps. But to get maxim benefit from the ventilation, panel and fan, you have to park in direct sunlight. So really what would be the big benefit from a Solar Paneled Prius using the Panel ventilation system parked in the direct sunlight VS. A "regular roofed" Prius using all the tricks of the trade, IE: Sunshield, cracked windows and parking in the shade. I've got to think the difference would be minimal. The solar ventilation in conjunction with a sunshade might be the best benefit.

    I still wish Toyota would of just offered The Prius with a plain old sunroof/moonroof option and no solar panel. Probably would be easier to produce so less shortages. I'd love a sunroof, no panels, and remote start air conditioning.
     
  7. dsviv

    dsviv Member

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    The Electric Me, the biggest difference is that I don't have to search for the one in a million shaded parking space in any parking lot. It may not seem to some to be worth the money, but it's just plain fun to have a sunroof. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
     
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  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    "It's just plain fun to have a sunroof" I agree, I just wish Toyota would of just offered a plain fun sunroof.

    I don't mean to offend or upset those that have the solar panel, just seems the more comes out about the "benefit" the less it makes sense to me. You might not have to look for the one in a million shaded parking space, BUT if you want your ventilation system to operate you are almost forced to park in direct sunlight. That seems counter intuitive to me.

    I might do it myself. I really want a sunroof. But I'm also eagerly awaiting the eventual solar roof hacks that will come. Because as it stands it seems like a lot of wasted technology.

    PS. I also realize benefit might be dictated by region. I live in Oregon, so shade, clouds, trees are available almost all the time. Infact finding direct sunlight in Oregon is, on a yearly basis, probably more challenging than finding shade.

    Enjoy the panels those that have them. Smoke em if you've got em!
     
  9. AlexT

    AlexT Junior Member

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    Hi Dale,
    I work on the 3rd floor of an all glass office building and park my car about 120to 175ft away. I use the remote through the office window. I believe it works because the height allows the signal to reach the car. I don't get anywhere near that range when I am on the ground. I guess there are to many other obstacles (cars) when trying to use the remote on the ground. If the hybrid battery is to low the parking lights still blink to let me know they received the signal but the A/C will not start up. Hope this helps.
     
  10. RickFlashman

    RickFlashman New Member

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    I'm taking a much simpler approach. Just ordered from Sigma the OEM 2010 Prius Sun Visor add-on, that's what we tend to call here the "rain guard" that goes over the top window edges. It will let me keep the windows cracked a bit without any rain getting in, letting my vent its hot air out. Worked great in past cars.
     
  11. jaywolf

    jaywolf Member

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    I'll second that!!! Why get a Prius if you don't want high tech toys.
     
  12. PracticalEfficiency

    PracticalEfficiency New Member

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    It's not like it was the solar sunroof for $3,600.

    The $3,600 includes:
    $1,800 navigation system.
    $1,000 moon roof (on most other cars thats what it costs).
    $800 remaining for the solar panels.
     
  13. Chrome

    Chrome New Member

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    I haven't seen a $1,000 sunroof in a car in a long, long time. They're usually in the $700-$850 range.
     
  14. Midpack

    Midpack Member

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    It is for those of who don't want the NAV (my Garmin is great) or the solar panels! If the options weren't all bundled like they are, there would be no complaints. Maybe in a few model years...
     
  15. bps

    bps Active Member

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    I think a lot of folks are judging Solar during a difficult time -- August. When it's really hot outside (100 degrees) it will never feel "cool" in your car with hot ambient air blowing inside. Basically, it's too hot for Solar to overcome. It does make a difference, but 120 degrees sill feels hot.

    Where I think Solar will shine (no pun intended) is temperatures in the 70-80 degree range. At these temps, it's not uncommon for the inside of a car to reach 100-110 degrees. But with 70 degree air being circulated in the car, the car will remain cool.

    In short, I think Solar will be more effective in mild to moderate weather versus the dog days of summer.

    Bryan
     
  16. cmalberto

    cmalberto New Member

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    I agree 100 percent. I have so amazed with the a/c's ability to cool down very quickly. That was my number 1 gripe with my Honda Civic and the second reason why I didn't test drive one before buying my 2010.

    --Mickey
     
  17. brianbernanke

    brianbernanke New Member

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    Crikey. I live in an area where 110º isn't unusual. I don't have the solar roof and haven't measured the temperature, but with my $10 Target front window shield and cracking the back windows 1", the car is fine. I guess I don't see that the extra money for the solar panels would ever to be worth it for me. Too bad it doesn't add juice to the battery -- that would seem a more useful function for those of us who run a/c 24/7.

    I would add that the Prius a/c does a wonderful job in a hostile environment.
     
  18. snoctor

    snoctor Member

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    I think you're right Bryan. 100+ temps are an extreme. So for now I can only report how it works when it's 100 or so outside. Come September and then again in the spring / early summer I expect the solar ventilation to be much more effective just like you said.
     
  19. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    The dash is the real killer, in the second-gens too. A sunshield
    for the windshield is almost mandatory. Something to block parts
    of the side windows toward the sun [depending on how you're
    constrained to park in some location] might help too.
    .
    The remote A/C is a huge energy waste; here's why: a sunshield
    and the solar-power fan help keep interior temps down but they
    aren't perfect, as noted. But the A/C has a lot less work to
    do upon startup if you go out to the car first, open all the
    doors and hatch, and wait a minute or so for most of the heated
    air to exit by itself and some fresh air to circulate in for
    zero energy use. *Then* it makes sense to fire up the A/C to
    handle the rest and deal with the remaining heat stuck inside
    seat cushions, interior panels, the steel, etc.
    .
    But people hate to wait, don't they.
    .
    _H*
     
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  20. uglymuddah

    uglymuddah Junior Member

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    It's a weight issue. The Solarpanel is heavier than no solarpanel. So you get the 15" lighter wheels to stay in the weight class it is in right now and keep the A-status for the vehicle.
     
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