GreenHybrid Interactive Hybrid Car Resource
Home Discuss Articles Compare Share Shop
GreenHybrid.com   Hybrid Car Forums   Tech Information   Mileage & Specs   Photo Gallery   Buying Guide  
GreenHybrid Mileage Database - Click here to track your MPG! Join Hybrid car discussions today - Create a FREE GreenHybrid Account

Go Back   GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars > Hybrid Cars > Honda Motor Company > Honda Civic Hybrid > HCH II-Specific Discussions
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Register Photos FAQ Members Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read GarageUsed Cars Add a Tank TSB & Recalls

HCH II-Specific Discussions Model Years 2006+

Reply
 
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2007, 11:26 AM
2007HCHOttawa's Avatar
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: V
Location: Canada
Hybrids: 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
Posts: 59
Default Solar charger

This isn't really a HCH2 specific topic but I couldn't decide where else to put it. So please bear with me.

Browsing through my weekly stack of flyers, i came across "dash-top solar panels" that can be plugged into the 12V socket in your car and charge the battery. I was wondering if this is at all useful for Hybrids?

- The solar charge would go to the 12 V battery so less energy from the ICE or IMA charge would be used to top it up.
- If the car is left out in the sun for a while ... would the charge then flow down to the IMA battery once the 12 V battery is topped up? [I know I'm treading into phev terrain here]
- If the charge doesnt flow through to the IMA battery ... what happens when the 12 V battery is topped up? How does the solar panel system deal with the generated energy?
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2007, 12:33 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Hybrids: 06 Civic Hybrid
Posts: 236
Default Re: Solar charger

If you drive your car I'd doubt it'd do much good. Not sure about the overflow thing.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2007, 01:59 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Location: Indianapolis
Hybrids: 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
Posts: 248
Default Re: Solar charger

this may be useful.

i killed the 12v battery in my 07 HCHII and it would not start. The IMA battery was nearly fully charged, but the car was not capable of starting. This would lead me to believe that the 12v system is isolated from the high voltage system entirely. This makes sense to me, you almost certainly cannot charge the high voltage pack through the 12v system.

I do have the technical manual and could track down all the wiring, but thats an awful lot of work.

on a side note, if nothing is using the power the cells are collecting then they will just sit there. meaning that if you put the solar cell out in the sun and there is nothing connected to it then it will just sit in the sun and get warm, which is precisely what they do when they are being used.

if you find a way to tap into the high voltage pack to charge it please let me know.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2007, 02:46 PM
ralph_dog's Avatar
World's First Hybrid
 
Real Name: Ralph
Location: Quincy MA
Hybrids: 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid
Posts: 600
Default Re: Solar charger

In order to charge the IMA battery, you would need much more than just a 12v solar panel. You would need a DC/DC converter to raise the 12v to the level of the IMA (144V for a HCH-I) and you would need to know where to connect this voltage source to. Can't just connect it to a NiMH battery without some kind of Heat/Current/Voltage protection circuitry.

It can be done but not without some re-engineering.

I believe that in the HCH-I, the IMA battery is used to start the engine by way of the IMA motor. The 12v battery/starter would very rarely be used. I've owned my for 2 years now and it is parked outside in the cold NE winter and the 12v starter has never had to kick in.

.

Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2007, 07:40 PM
msantos's Avatar
Eco Accelerometrist
 
Real Name: MSantos
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Hybrids: 2006 HCH, 2007 Prius x 3, 2007 HCH
Posts: 1,191
Default Re: Solar charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007HCHOttawa View Post
- The solar charge would go to the 12 V battery so less energy from the ICE or IMA charge would be used to top it up.
Presumably correct. however see below:


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007HCHOttawa View Post
- If the car is left out in the sun for a while ... would the charge then flow down to the IMA battery once the 12 V battery is topped up? [I know I'm treading into phev terrain here]
Nope. If you plug a solar panel to the power socket then no charge will be delivered to the 12V battery. This is because the accessories power circuit is interrupted by a relay that only closes when the key in the ignition and on position I.

I do have an Eliminator solar panel (Canadian Tire) that charges the 12 volt battery but this is because I pugged it directly into the 12V power lines that can be tapped in the fuse panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007HCHOttawa View Post
- If the charge doesnt flow through to the IMA battery ... what happens when the 12 V battery is topped up? How does the solar panel system deal with the generated energy?
Charging the IMA battery pack requires intrusive engineering. It can be done, but it would require care much care so that it does not damage any of the exiting circuits & modules. Also the IMA circuit is totally disabled whenever the key is off the ignition. Because of this, the BCM module can not be used to regulate the IMA battery charge and you must find another regulation mechanism that can co-exist with the car's native systems when they are on.

It is unlikely that a small solar panel will cause an overcharge situation for your 12V battery. Unless it is a 5W or larger panel the charge you get can be equated to a trickle charge which is of no danger to the battery.

However, if you have a higher wattage panel then you'll need a charge regulator (also found at canadian tire or another store).


Cheers;

MSantos

Last edited by msantos; 04-17-2007 at 08:00 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2007, 06:26 AM
Engineering Professor
 
Real Name: Jeffrey N. Denenberg
Location: Connecticut
Hybrids: 2004 Prius
Posts: 375
Default Re: Solar charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007HCHOttawa View Post
This isn't really a HCH2 specific topic but I couldn't decide where else to put it. So please bear with me.

Browsing through my weekly stack of flyers, i came across "dash-top solar panels" that can be plugged into the 12V socket in your car and charge the battery. I was wondering if this is at all useful for Hybrids?

- The solar charge would go to the 12 V battery so less energy from the ICE or IMA charge would be used to top it up.
Yes, but the 12v battery is seldom discharged too much after driving a while.
Quote:
- If the car is left out in the sun for a while ... would the charge then flow down to the IMA battery once the 12 V battery is topped up? [I know I'm treading into phev terrain here]
No, in most hybrids the 12v energy can't directly flow back to the "Main" battery. It tends to flow the other way.
Quote:
- If the charge doesnt flow through to the IMA battery ... what happens when the 12 V battery is topped up?How does the solar panel system deal with the generated energy?
It can tend to overcharge the 12v battery. The excess energy should be dumped and this requires a "smart" charging module that will behave in a manner similar to that of a Battery Tender or Float Charger.

Note that these small solar units don't generate much electrical power as they have a small surface area and have poor conversion efficiency.

JeffD

.




Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2007, 06:53 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Bill
Location: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Hybrids: Honda Civic Hybrid
Posts: 149
Default Re: Solar charger

I used a solar charger on my HCH I. I ended up burning out some kind of relay so that my 12 volt would no longer maintain a charge! That is what the dealer told me anyway. They are usually pretty good in diagnosing problems.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 06:53 PM
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
400h, add, battery, charger, charging, civic, dash, float, honda, hybrid, ima, lexus, panel, saturn, solar, top, view

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Get your Prius Solar Roof Panel ordered !!! lars-ss Toyota Prius 17 12-09-2005 08:47 PM
Plastic solar cells now 4.4% efficient! clett Anything Goes 1 10-13-2005 03:51 AM
Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost Schwa Toyota Prius 5 08-18-2005 02:50 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:38 AM.

Home | Hybrid Discussion Forums | Hybrid Articles Archive | Mileage Database | Hybrid Photo Galleries | Compare Vehicles
Terms of Service - Privacy Statement - - Advertising
GreenHybrid.com, Copyright 2008
InternetBrands.com Automotive Network

GreenHybrid.com founded by Jason Siegel.
Emails Backup

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62