Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

Reply

 
 
 
  #1  
Old 08-16-2005, 09:41 PM
Schwa's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Coquitlam, B.C.
Posts: 1,045
Default Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost



Canadian Prius cuts fuel consumption by .5L/100km (52 to 59 MPG) with a solar panel array connected to a charger that tops off the traction battery while it's in use. This proves that it's practical, even using conventional PV cells to augment power to a hybrid with solar energy. Additional improvements could be made with the ability to charge the battery while the car is off.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...oweraugme.html
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-16-2005, 11:05 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 344
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

Great catch Schwa, and thanks for directing us to Green Car Congress. Couldn't help noticing though, the mention of 2 amps. This *must* be at the 12 volt level. A very small complaint; the fuel economy increase seems impressive and we may see a few more of these.

DAS
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-17-2005, 03:08 AM
Schwa's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Coquitlam, B.C.
Posts: 1,045
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

Originally Posted by Tochatihu
Couldn't help noticing though, the mention of 2 amps. This *must* be at the 12 volt level.
That's what I was thinking too, but then that doesn't make sense either because he's got WAY more solar power than just 2 amps of 12vdc (~24w) plus he's got additional batteries. His solar panels should be able to deliver 20-25 amps of 12v.

So what I think it refers to is the peak capacity of the charger on the 300v side because he's added a few 12v sealed lead-acid cells so that the panels can charge them while the car is off, then once it's on (the HV relay enabled) it will pass the charge from the 12v battery to the HV battery at the stated 2 amps for a short time, then charge at whatever rate the PV cells generate power at.
 

Last edited by Schwa; 08-17-2005 at 06:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-17-2005, 04:59 AM
Enthusiast
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 49
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

I am wondering how much addition drag there is on the highway. We have a older Prius which our teens drive and usually averages around 57 mpg. I wouldn't mind getting an increase but wonder if the gains would be offset by the weight and drag. Have fun, Rick
 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-17-2005, 05:59 PM
Schwa's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Coquitlam, B.C.
Posts: 1,045
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

Originally Posted by Rick Reece
I am wondering how much addition drag there is on the highway. We have a older Prius which our teens drive and usually averages around 57 mpg. I wouldn't mind getting an increase but wonder if the gains would be offset by the weight and drag. Have fun, Rick
I guess it depends if you do a lot of highway driving or not. If you are on the high speed driving path anyhow there's not much of a 'boost' that solar panels could give you because not much power comes from the battery when on the highway. I think this setup would be more suitable for people doing low-medium speed and stop & go type driving.

The real problem is cost. Solar panels are not affordable, especially when you want 200-300 watts worth. It's an interesting experiment but not really practical from a cost-saving point of view, yet.
 

Last edited by Schwa; 08-17-2005 at 06:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-18-2005, 03:50 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 344
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

Now better focussed on this, I'm guessing that the area (about 2 square meters) of solar panels would max about 360 watts, or 30 amps at 12 volts. Upconvert through a 110 vac inverter and get 320 watts. Step it up 3x voltage through a transformer and get 300 watts. After rectification, 290 watts, or just less than 1 amp to the HV battery under the noon sun, no clouds. Getting twice that would require the finest photovoltaic panels (as seen on the electric car racers), but nobody can afford those!

The weight issue is in the added 12 v lead batteries and (less so) the transformer and inverter. As a guess, at least 30 kg added.

Wind resistance is insidious at highway speeds, but could be minimized with flexible solar panels attached directly to the roof. Those are quite expensive.


Guess I won't be doing this anytime soon to my NHW11 Prius, because the added stuff will cut into (limited) trunk space, and I do put the Yakima rack (for bikes, etc.) on top sometimes. Cannot imagine getting it all done for less than $1000. Calculate your own payback times, but getting 13% higher mpg to post on greenhybrid: Priceless.


The Prius HV electrical system is very sensitive to small current leakage to ground, and I would be surprised if this inventor has not had to work around such problems already.


After all these negatives, I again applaud the work! So many have talked about adding PV to the Prius, and at last someone has done it, and reported better fuel efficiency improvements than we might have anticipated. Do the front hood next, do! Nobody puts bikes there.

DAS
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-08-2018, 12:26 PM
Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Default Re: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost

13 year thread revival! I was just sitting here thinking, my 2006 highlander hybrid is exhibiting symptoms of possibly one or two of the Ni-MH cells dying, and it got me to thinking... while I’m in there with the back seats ripped out to test and rejuvenate my battery pack, why not run some quick disconnect leads to each of the 9.6v cells and run a cheap solar panel for each on the roof?!?! Subsequent googling led me to this thread. I just don’t understand why the original ‘inventor’ of this Prius ran a separate 12v battery bank and inverter, etc. why not run a small solar panel to each 9.6v cell of the battery pack? As long as the power is shunted once the cell is at full charge, you should be able to directly charge each cell to capacity even while vehicle is off and parked, correct? Am I missing something or would that not be a more efficient, lighter, and more compact method? My highlander has a nearly perfectly flat roof, and the panels would sit below the height of the roof cargo rack anyways, I doubt there would be much, if any, drag compared to the already brick like aerodynamics of the 2006 highlander... anyone with more electrical knowledge than me care to weigh in?
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Related Topics
Thread
Topic Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
t.h.e. MisFit Crazy 8
Journalism & The Media
1
12-17-2010 05:57 PM
privatejoker
Honda Civic Hybrid
9
06-23-2008 01:19 PM
stevenvillatoro
Toyota Camry Hybrid
18
07-10-2006 08:13 PM
Jason
Hybrid & Related News
0
07-03-2005 05:30 PM
Jason
Hybrid & Related News
6
08-13-2004 02:13 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Gen 1 Prius gets a solar boost


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.