New wrinkle for roof repairs: Panasonic photovoltaic roof for plug-in Toyota Prius

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by priuscatprimeguy, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i have never had to have a car roof repaired in 45 years of driving, and i like to park in the shade. bird poop under a tree can be a uge problem though.
     
  3. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I worked briefly in the parts department at a Datsun dealer (yes, Datsun) in the early 80's. The one part that was not stocked even in the main Datsun warehouse was roofs. Those had to be ordered from Japan.
     
  4. KrPtNk

    KrPtNk Active Member

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    If you live in the Midwest, the question of potential auto roof damage might be answered, "Hail yes!"
     
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  5. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I lived in Southern California, I guess other than maybe getting buried in a mudslide our car roofs were pretty safe. But I can see where in the Midwest hail damage to car roofs would be a common occurrence.
     
    #5 Since2002, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i wonder how these panels would stand up to it. might be better than steel.
     
  7. dalcon95

    dalcon95 Senior Member

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    Hail might be a problem in certain areas of the country for roof damage.

    #1 in Easley,SC
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    probably.
     
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  9. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I'm still wondering about the statement made on this forum (not this topic part though other than that article) that the reason we don't get the battery charging roof has to do with roof strength. May I remind everyone that Pearl S has a -completely- glass roof! half is solar panel, half is "sunroof". -It- seemed to be ok with safety standards. I think the real reason is something else, probably weight and cost. I read the article but disagree with the author. The amount of energy the solar panel roof can put into the batteries is almost imperceptible, unless you park for several days, probably like 5-10. Then you -might- notice. That combined with the cost and weight probably caused Toyota US to say "no way". I suspect cost is the big factor. Auto sales are very sensitive to cost.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that is stated in the o/p's link, but doesn't give technical details. it's a roll over problem that has to be worked out before they can bring it to the u.s.
    as for your roof, i don't know how they pulled it off, but apparently, they did.
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The glass used in the PVs might not meet the automotive safety glass standard required in the US vehicle code. The glass of a panoramic roof could have layers of plastic to hold it together in one piece in the event it shatters like the windshield, or it breaks apart into pebbles like the side windows do. The PV glass could be coming apart like beer bottle shrapnel in the event of a crash.

    A Toyota rep somewhere supported your suspicion what the comment that it was cost keeping out of America. It is a $3000 option in Japan, and where it is available in Europe requires passing on all the other high end features. Charging access also isn't as big of a concern in the US as in those markets.
     
  12. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    Toyota states ~3 km per 'average' day, I can perceive this! The system is also active when driving for the 12V accessories. Efficiency improvements these days are in very small steps.
    I disagree at least for Europe. More effective access if any due to the line voltage.
     
  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The system has benefit, but is that benefit high enough for the cost in a perspective market. For America, I think it isn't at this time.

    We have to look at all the factors. A home in Europe might be getting as much energy as one in the US to make home charging practical, but are garages, or even private parking, as available at those American homes? If a residence doesn't provide a place to safely plug in every night, the electric service at the house doesn't matter.
     
  14. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    A person who cannot charge at home is probably not a prospective candidate for a PHEV, this is true in America as well as in Europe, to hint that the solar roof will be a deal maker for him in Europe and not in America is being naïve to say the least.
    The roof can be regarded as a supplement (small right now) to opportunity charging (and there are many once you are starting to look for them), I can charge ~10 km in half an hour and ~20 km in an hour everywhere I drive and in this respect my access to opportunity charging is more effective than in the US.
     
    #14 giora, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    From the article:
    I needed this for a completely different proposed 'ambient energy' application, in my last contract job before retirement. Some form of this was proposed, but I didn't have the resources to do this, nor was the company's proposed market big enough to justify the development costs. I'd better check the NDA expiration dates before saying anything more.

    But at least, I did learn enough to prompt me to do a DIY PV installation on my own house, later expanding to reach Net Zero Energy (after substantial conservation, which was also necessary in the proposed application).
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    A person not being able to charge effectively at home is a good possibility in Japan. It's why ChAdeMO is standard on the Prime there, and why the solar roof was even developed. That might also be the case in parts of Europe. It does have higher fuel prices than the US, as in Japan.

    Most Americans are going to be unwilling to pay for the solar roof. Stating so isn't hinting at anything.
    With the number of CHAdeMO chargers there, opportunity charging is likely more effective in Japan. It might be the only charging a Prime owner has access too. Paying for the solar roof can be deemed worth the expense to extend EV use.

    In the US, that cost has to compete against the price of gas to go a few kilometers in a Prius.
     
  17. AltPwr

    AltPwr New Member

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    I have a 2010 Prius with the solar roof since I teach solar and wind renewable energy - couldn't pass it up for class demos!!!!
    The car has always been parked outside in Michigan its entire life - with a few hail storms. Nary a problem. Got some small dents in the hood, but no problem with the module.
    If you think about it, solar modules are designed to live outside in the worst conditions - and hail is a norm.
    BTW - I really do like the solar powered vents on hot days - makes life so much nicer.
    Really wish I could have gotten them on my new Prime!
     
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