brooklyndriving
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:49 pm

Volts

Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:26 pm

Hello,

I'm a driving school owner in Brooklyn who decided I had enough with the price of gas and bought two EV's this past summer. I must say the cars have performed rather well for our purpose. I’m just wondering if anyone know what the specs are on the battery, does it run on 120 volts or 24 or 36??? And what might be available in terms of installing a solar charger on the car itself, I know the Nissan leaf has a spoiler that has a solar charger..

Thanks

Econenviro
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:24 am
Location: Boulder CO
Contact: Website

Re: Volts

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:12 pm

I believe that it is 300 volts. The solar panel on the leaf only keeps the accessory battery charged. On the prius it can run a cooling fan.

Rwbill
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:24 am
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Volts

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:40 am

Hi and thanks for the post.

The Main Battery is 360V DC. It of course can be charged by 110V AC or 240V AC (level 2 charger).

It also powers the 12V DC battery that is used for the traditional accessories like radio and lights, DC to DC converted from 360:12.

The power for driving comes from the Main Battery, the 360V DC is inverted to AC to run the electric drive motor. I've been surprised how quick and responsive the car is for how heavy the batteries make the Focus Electric. It accelerates from the merge lane onto the interstate much quicker than I used to do or could do with my Saturns.

Input for charging the main battery is AC. Solar panels output around 17V DC to charge 12V DC batteries, or a bank of batteries. To charge an electric car using solar panels one would have to have a bank of Deep Cycle 12V batteries to accept the output of the Solar Panels, then run through an inverter to make it AC voltage to plug the charging cable into the Electric Vehicle. This would have to be an inverter rated for quite high amperage, similar to what one would have to use if trying to run a house on stand alone alternative power off the grid.

I won't take time to run the numbers although I could later if you wanted to size the solar panels and all. The reality of solar is that to reach a level anywhere near what the grid offers requires a large number of panels, and even a partial cloud cover greatly reduces if not outright stops all charging. You can do two things with solar panels. As a stand alone system, like a cabin in the woods, you have to dump into a large bank of DC batteries, and invert that back to AC for household appliances (like an Electric Car :D ). The alternative is to wire the Solar Panels through an inverter and into the local power grid at your meter, if allowed ("grid tie-in"). That way you can allow that you are helping to offset the energy consumed by using alternative sources. It wouldn't be much compared to what the EV uses unless you had a large number of 125 watt panels, for instance.

The EV battery runs through a large amount of electricity per day for an average commute, 8, 10, 15 Kilowatt Hours per day, or more. This cannot be provided by a small collection of solar panels even if you have El Paso sun.

Hope this helps some. I do not know of anyway to charge the Focus Electric directly from a DC source such as solar panels, and I can't speak for the Leaf. At any rate, any small solar panel on the roof or set beside while parked would not provide any sizable amount of charging.
Last edited by Rwbill on Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

Rwbill
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:24 am
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Volts

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:41 am

Econenviro wrote:I believe that it is 300 volts. The solar panel on the leaf only keeps the accessory battery charged. On the prius it can run a cooling fan.
That makes sense, thanks for the info.

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