Solar panel on roof

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by eric smith, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. eric smith

    eric smith Junior Member

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    Why doesn't Toyota offer a solar panel on the PIP to charge the batteries while you are at work? Is the surface area of the roof not large enough to make this practical?
     
  2. chesleyn

    chesleyn Active Member

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    Correct


    iPhone ?
     
  3. Dana Sion

    Dana Sion New Member

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    Good point, however why is the option not available (at least in the 2012 model) for the solar panel or a sunroof? Does it just add too much extra weight?
     
  4. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    Too much weight, and too much cost.
     
  5. Dana Sion

    Dana Sion New Member

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    Makes more sense the packages for the PIP when you step back and consider the factors but at first the sales person says you can get " ALL THIS " with the non plug-in but you get only two limited trim packages with the PIP. Still love the vehicle.
     
  6. Econ

    Econ Member

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    Typically , Toyota does it their way. Like building car for area zones. I live ten miles from a different state and the cars are different ie packages and accessories. When I was looking to buy, the car I wanted was plentiful in Fl . It had to be a special order in my state. ( exterior color and interior color )
    Same thing happened when I purchased my GS 430. I guess you have to play their game. :)
     
  7. tomstodola

    tomstodola Member

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    I have a solar panel on my 2010. panel is only 59watts. it would take days to charge even the stock 1kW battery on the standard Prius. I have solar on my home, so I am a believer in the technology, but on the car it can only run the ventilation fan. I would not pay the $$ for it, but I wanted the moon roof.
     
  8. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    The solar panel on the Gen3 I believe weights 66 pounds which can in theory drop your FE up to 1-1.5%
     
  9. Dana Sion

    Dana Sion New Member

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    Lighter the better, every bit helps in EV mode and overall.
     
  10. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    My assumptions are the 66 extra lb is neglible in affecting your fuel economy. I suspect the solar roof option has very few takers. Couple that with the PiP's ability to run AC while plugged in further diminishes the value of the solar roof. The PiP is a very unusual car as it is. Toyota doesn't want to confuse buyers any more than they already are. Having only two trim levels with the most popular options makes sense.
     
  11. Dana Sion

    Dana Sion New Member

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    Very good point, the fact that you can plug the PiP into your house is enough "extras" LOL.
    Plus if you want you can add on quite a few post production extras any how.
     
  12. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Sorry, it isn't my assumption that it does. It is actually the EPA and physics that have said for every 100 lbs added FE goes down 1-2%. Small cars are affected more so the Prius is probably closer to the 2% making 66 lbs at least 1% if not 1.5%. Some people might, but I don't find 1 mpg negligible.
     
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  13. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    I'm sorry it is not your assumption. That's why I clearly said it is my assumption. Whether you consider it is neglible or not is inconsequential to my assumption. Unless Toyota comes to this forum and tells us why there is no solar roof option on the PiP. All we have are assumptions.

    PS I agree with you! :) 1 mpg is definitely not neglible. Unfortunately, our voices are not loud enough and the PiP is equipped with heavier wheels than those found on a regular Prius. Where is the logic in that?
     
  14. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I understand why additional mass decreases the mileage on a conventional ICE car (it takes more energy to get the mass up to speed, which is lost when slowing down), but with the regeneration on the PiP, you get (most of) the energy back when slowing down. Thus the non-intuitive observation that accelerating briskly in the PiP to a particular speed does not really have a significant penalty.
     
  15. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    Regen is far from a 1:1 ratio. Other have stated it is something more like 30 or 40% but definitely not above 50%.
     
  16. Germwise

    Germwise Junior Member

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    also, I think that accelerating briskly is more costly the reason being that the engine will need more torque and thus be in a a lower "gear" which means more turns of the engine for less turns of the wheel.
     
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  17. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    This does not apply to electric motors, which have a relatively flat RPM vs torque curve. The Prius (standard or plug-in) does not have multiple gear ratios as does a typical ICE vehicle. Power from the engine gets distributed between the wheels and MG1, and MG1 produces electricity which is distributed between charging the battery and powering MG2 (the drive motor/generator attached to the wheels). It is an elegant design that takes a while to get your mind around.
     
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  18. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    At about 60 watts and with near 100% battery charging efficiency and with a typical equivalent of about 5 hours of full direct sunlight per day you'll get about 300 watt-hrs of charge per day. This is enough to go about 1 to 1.5 miles. Sure it is something, but it is a spec that would be laughed at. The real number is probably 50-75% of that. And they would need to provide a step up transformer (12v to 650v) and alternate charging path, etc.

    So, even if you got 200-300 miles per year (some cloudy days), in 10 years you'd get maybe 2500 miles out of a typical 150K miles, or 1.6% extra. The same money spent on fixed roof top solar, permanently aiming more optimally at the sun would yield more energy, more cost savings and last more useful years.

    And you'd probably waste more electrons on A/C because you parked your car in the sun to recharge and the interior got hot as a side effect.

    Mike
     
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  19. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    personally, i wish they just offered it for the fan system they have in the liftback and because i think it looks about 100 times better than the steel roof.
     
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  20. sirenbrian

    sirenbrian Junior Member

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    I have a 2011 Prius 3 with the solar package. I really wanted to upgrade to a Plug In, but my wife said without the solar panel which automatically cools the car, she wasn't going for it. Yes, you can use your smartphone to tell the Prius Plug In to cool, but with the solar panel she doesn't have to remember to do it; it's automatic. She's right -- I wish Toyota hadn't removed this option; we'd have bought one in a heartbeat.
     
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