Solar Panel Mod Controller

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by AzusaPrius, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    I just ordered this solar charge controller for $15 on Ebay.

    Planning on hacking the solar panel to power up other cooling mods. Screenshot_2020-07-06-09-39-16.jpeg

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  2. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Great idea. How much volts can that thing manage?
     
  3. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    12V/24V

    I have seen some on here use other controllers but I wanted to try this brand out.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    #3 AzusaPrius, Jul 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Will this mod go with the prius solar trim package or bring your own solar panel install ?
     
  5. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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  6. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Keep us posted on the voltage conversion, interested to see the frankstein solar setup.
     
  7. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    Should be no different than the other 3 people here, they just used a different brand controller.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  8. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    At last it has arrived after a great delay. 20200717_105308.jpeg
     
  9. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Why does it say "RS232" and "5V2A" on the front.
    This may not be what you think it is.
     
  10. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    This has two 5volt 2amp usb ports.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Probably says RS232 because nobody but standards wonks ever noticed when the name changed to EIA-232 in nineteen freaking eighty six, or to TIA-232 in 2012.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And in addition to that, it also takes input from a solar panel and has a "smart charger" output for 12 V ??

    If so, it sounds like a good value.......for $15.
     
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  13. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    Yes, it is a good one and I will be doing the solar mod very soon.
    Just need to get some power and ground wire from my storage.
     
  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    How is this coming along?
     
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  15. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    The current triple digit heat is keeping me from jumping on it right away but I have everything ready now.
     
    #15 AzusaPrius, Aug 3, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    As this thread mentioned earlier projects but didn't link to them, I thought it would be helpful to keep the info on the topic kind of together, so here are links to Michael Cline's solution from June of 2013, which was pretty slick. and vallesj's very nicely documented setup from a year later.

    It seems I had missed those earlier (well, I didn't have my Gen 3 in 2013 or 2014, so I wasn't looking). Both of those projects seem easy and successful enough to maybe go on my "stuff I should've done already" list.
     
    #16 ChapmanF, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  17. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    Alright thanks to Solarpriusguy I have tapped into the solar wire and connected the controller to the 12 volt battery.

    I will keep an eye on it and adjust anything that needs to be adjusted.

    Next will be connecting this mod to my fan cooling mod for the hybrid battery.

    20200806_103627.jpeg 20200806_103636.jpeg 20200806_113911.jpeg
     
  18. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    OK, gotta ask.
    Seems like I remember that the factory solar panel only is capable of something like 7 watts, to run the tiny little vent fan.
    That's not going to be enough to do anything useful.
    Might not even help keep the 12 V battery charged.
     
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  19. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Member

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    This works perfectly and charges the 12 volt fine.

    I believe it is about 60 watts max the panel produces.
     
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  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The "tiny little vent fan" is the same one behind the glove box that runs for your heat and A/C, and is really not as tiny as all that.

    I could see posting some shoot-from-the-hip guesswork about how impractical the idea is, if it did not happen, you know, two posts after a collection of links from earlier, documented, measured, implementations of the same idea.

    Edit: ... which also include this thread, which started speculatively, years before vallesj's hack, but then includes three more people following suit (four now, counting this).

    I think I'm going to go with the cheapo buck converter, as in Michael Cline's original approach, rather than a fancier solar controller; in my case, it's because I also have some accessories behind a low-voltage disconnect that turns them on when voltage rises above 13.2 (normally indicating the car's been made READY). I could adjust the cheapo buck converter to something lower (say 13.1, as Michael Cline did), to avoid having it and the LVD start playing games with each other. The more purpose-built solar converters all seem to have higher output setpoints that wouldn't fit in my picture.
     
    #20 ChapmanF, Aug 6, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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