Please Share Your Solar Roof Experience

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Prianista, May 30, 2009.

  1. Prianista

    Prianista Member

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    The inside of my 2007 Prius was like a blast furnace after 10 hours sitting in today's sunny and 80 degree Seattle weather.
    For those of you owning 2010's in the Puget Sound region, how well did the solar powered ventilation system work today?
     
  2. NoMoShocks

    NoMoShocks Electrical Engineer

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    Does Portland count?

    The solar roof works best in combination with a sun shield. Basically, the air inside the car can be same temperature as the outside air, yet if the sun has been shinning in, all the surfaces will be warmed up and the radiated heat will make it feel hotter than outside, yet still much better than a regular car. But in combination with a sun shield and nice window tint, much of the radiated heat from hot surfaces can also be reduced.

    Today, it was warm enough that I used the AC along with the open sun roof. Of course, I wear a baseball cap so as not to get my bald head burned.
     
  3. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    :thumb: I am impressed! I parked in full sun, set the SV switch to on and left the car for about 20 minutes. Upon return, the outside air was still a nice 75 or so, but the sun had heated the inside so the Solar Vent was running. I could hear the fan with my ear pointed toward the windshield wipers on the passenger side. Opening the door and getting in did not stop the function, only starting the car ends the SV.

    Wow, what a difference! The air coming from the regular vents was the equivalent of medium to medium-high setting on the AC fan! It was unmistakably working hard to vent the car.

    If you are on the fence about this option, and live in a hot area, go for it! You will use it more often than the fancy electronics of the V model. Plus, it must be a positive for keeping the leather in better form over the life of the car.

    Lee:cool:
     
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  4. AirKuhl

    AirKuhl New Member

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    Where I live the outside temps aren't that high, but the sun can be very strong. Works like a charm. I'm just leaving it on all the time. Combined with the remote A/C having ~100 ft range, the car will be cool by the time you get in. Great feature IMO.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Very nice! So how quiet is the fan? Did you have to put your ears close to the outside intake vent? Can you hear the fan running if you were just passing by?
     
  6. dbacksfan

    dbacksfan Member

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    I'm wondering what the performance would be in Arizona where summer temps often reach 110+. Parked on blacktop parking lots, the real temperature is even higher. I seem to recall the temperature inside a closed cabin can climb to 150s within a few minutes. My numbers are probably off as I haven't seen the figures lately. In any case, they are startiling, if not dangerous. Tragically, it seems that every year children and pets die in locked cars here in the Phoenix valley.

    Technology like the solar sun roof not only provide comfort but can serve as an extra measure of safety.
     
  7. AirKuhl

    AirKuhl New Member

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    If it's 110 outside that's the lowest it can go. However, it provides a nice head start for the remote A/C, which should get it comfy in there pretty quickly. Then you can burn the skin off your hands on the steering wheel in comfort. :)

    Combined with a nice windshield shade it should be as good as a car can possibly get in those conditions.
     
  8. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    Nicely quiet. You can hear it working just standing near the front of the car, but putting your ear next to the wipers lets you hear it better. It is quieter than the remote AC, and a fraction of the racket of Gen 2's Thermos hot water transfer:) Passing by, one may notice, but not if they are in conversation or other noice. VERY COOL FEATURE...Thank you Toyota;)

    Lee
     
  9. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well i have both and they were parked on the street next to each other on the street...now took off to beach this morning but didnt leave until 10.30 and it was plenty warm by then. had to load 2010 by removing a few items from the SPM and although both cars were warm, the SPM was stifling.

    if guessing, i would say the 2010 was probably 5-10 degrees warmer inside than outside. the SPM at least 20 degrees and most likely more hotter.

    **edit**

    actually a better example was last weekend. it was very sunny but temps only in the mid 60's. but that did not matter. the SPM was very warm. the 2010 felt like it was blowing conditioned air since OAT was comparably low so it was actually refreshing
     
  10. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    That is a good point. The lower the outside air temp (OAT), the cooler the air blowing through the solar powered vent system (SPV). The effect is more pronounced than when hot OAT means hot air blowing inside! Even if it is hot outside, the "cooling" produced by the air exchange will keep the temps cooler than if no air was exchanged.:cool:

    -edit- We will have to hear from Rick in AZ to get some perspectives of 100 degree and up results for the SPV.

    Lee
     
  11. Prianista

    Prianista Member

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    Thanks to all of you who are sharing your solar roof experience.

    I remember once thinking that the Smart Key System was a decadent extravagance. That feeling lasted less than 24 hours after getting SKS on my first Prius.

    I suspect solar roof ventilation is having a similar effect on 2010 owners.
     
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Thanks! Good to know. Don't want to let a would-be thief think that the car is on because it hears a fan running.
     
  13. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    Initial impression is that it does it's job. I left it sitting in my driveway and the fan was running at a "medium" speed under nearly full sun. As the sun dropped further into the afternoon sky (about 5pm), the fan performance decreased noticeably.

    I was sitting in the car w/ it running and yes the air was warm, but it was "ambient". I'd concur that a sunshade is still in order, but compared to the 2004, it wasn't NEARLY as hot. Ambient outside was just shy of 100°F today though.

    Only clue that it's on is that you can hear the fan noise from the passenger side.

    As for remote A/C - car switches to IG-ON mode (just short of READY), and it would seem that the fan is powered by the battery (though I could be mistaken). I only let it run a minute and it did seem to take the edge off. What it helped most with was not blowing hot air initially when you started the car. Also worth noting - the car will lock while it's in the remote A/C mode, and as soon as you unlock the car (or hit the up to 3 minute limit), the system turns off.
     
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  14. Gadgetdad

    Gadgetdad New Member

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    Rick, what is the possibility of the hot air flowing through the cabin drying out the leather upholstery faster than just baking at high temps? Things cook faster in a convection oven!:eek:
     
  15. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    Even better - here's what it "sounds" like from within the car, including Remote A/C. It's cut a bit short because the battery was at 2 bars from playing around prior and I got ~10 seconds of remote A/C before it shut down again.

     
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  16. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    I don't think ambient humidity inside the car is going to be any better. We'll have to remember to use leather protectants though.
     
  17. rtlt

    rtlt New Member

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    Rick, since you seem to be a hands-on, go to guy........, I was wondering if you'ld be willing to park your car out in your driveway under our 103 degree sun and take the temperature inside the car. Then drive the car around the block to get the inside back to ambient and re-park the car in the driveway with the solar fan running. After some time, take the temperature again to see if it stays close to ambient. Finally, turn on your remote air for three minutes and check the temperature a final time. I'd love to see results be 160 degrees, 105 degrees, and 90 degrees.

    I know its a lot to ask but I'd love to do the experiment myself if you'ld trade your car while I patiently (not really) wait for a 2010 to arrive.
     
  18. ManualOnly

    ManualOnly New Member

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    I was wandering that SV should be seen more as a life-saving feature rather than some PC-techno-whiz-marketing gimmik.

    If it can save a life or two due to some avoidable tragic mistake.

    Why not?
     
  19. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I don't know if it's me but the fans seem quieter than the current model.
     
  20. AirKuhl

    AirKuhl New Member

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