Adding High-end solar panels to roof

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by MegaPrius101, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    So I’ve been thinking about ways to improve my gas mileage recently and can’t find anything on this .

    If one wanted to purchase high-capacity super-absorbent solor panels and affix them to the roof of the Prius and have it power the car, would it be possible?

    Someone would need a lot of knowledge of how the car is powered and tap into certain electrical systems to perhaps run the car off of EV mode under the solar power.

    Just an idea. Now on the legality of driving with solar panels on your roof is a different question.

    I live in an area where there are “super” summers and would like to try this.
     
  2. Maarten28

    Maarten28 Active Member

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    Possible: yes. Practicle: no. One solar panel you may get 320Wp and that will cover the whole roof. 320W will not even power the AC when it is properly working. You could rig it to charge the main battery so it gets charged when you're parked as well, but again, you don't get a lot.
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The best use for such high-end solar panels is to be permanently mounted on your house roof. Maximize the energy they can harvest, in the best available location, never hampered by poor orientation or garage roofs or lousy parking locations. Feed the energy directly into the grid with net metering.

    Then use it to charge a plug-in car, or whatever else can make use of it. Minimize the solar panel's 'down time' and wastage.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  4. ice9

    ice9 Active Member

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    Has anyone tried to use removable/camping solar panels in the moon roof (for those who have this option)?
     
  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    No worries there. I've never run into any kind of restriction specific to solar panels. Bolt it on and it becomes part of the vehicle, not much different from the side view mirrors. Just an extra piece of glass bolted to the outside of the car- as long as it's done safely & securely you're set.

    I agree with above posters- not worth doing. You just aren't going to get enough power out of it to be worthwhile- a Prius roof is simply too small. If you want some free energy invest in a stationary system.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    research toyota's use of a solar roof on prime in japan. they've done all the heavy lifting.
     
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  7. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    Back to the drawing boards I guess.. :(
     
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  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    If you just bolt some panels up there, you may end up with a net negative, as the drag from the panels and mounting materials may more than offset any energy inputs from them.

    In particular, roofs and the leading edge of roofs are very sensitive to air flow disruptions which produce quite a bit of drag. Laminar flow is the goal, turbulence is bad.
     
  9. MegaPrius101

    MegaPrius101 Junior Member

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    Yeah.. I did consider that ..

    I’m not to caught up on solar panel technology so I was just dreaming ..

    That would be cool if you could buy a custom curved solar panel , in the near future , that was super absorbent (ie: 1 panel was equivalent to 3 or 4 older panels ) and matched the contours of the roof.

    But this wouldn’t be cost effective .. it would be cool but not economical..
     
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  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That much improvement just isn't going to happen. Not without some seriously fundamental change that throws out today's conversion theory and moves to something else with higher theoretical upper limits.
     
  11. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    At the prices of current 20+% flex cells maybe worth revisiting

    Never will make economic sense but a car isn’t a money making economic investment in the first place.

    If it’s thought out and well implemented it won’t be super expensive and will have benefits

    It’s really too bad it’s so difficult finding a crashed solar prime for import.
    I’ve been watching for about a year and haven’t seen one turn up at the common export sites
     
  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Who is making these now? When I was looking for such products a decade ago, for an unrelated product proposal, they were not available.
     
  13. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Sun power makes the semi flex stuff you see for sale (like what Jack Rickert sells)if memory serves,
    EVTV Motor Verks Store: 270 Watt Flexible Solar Panel, Solar, 270wpanel
    gotta buy grey market though.

    For specifics I would ask iamian or ecky who had active build threads on insightcentral and ecomodder

    Sadly google and the sites internal searches are so broken it’s probably easier to just ask them where their threads are detailing how they covered their car in cells.
     
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