Portable Solar Power Unit to charge your Clarity

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Nancy Stich, May 17, 2018.

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  1. Nancy Stich

    Nancy Stich New Member

    My husband told me this morning about portable solar charging units that can be used to charge the battery on my Clarity. He specifically mentioned one by Tesla. Is anyone doing this? How does it work and are you happy with the results?
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  3. Timothy

    Timothy Active Member

    It is hard to imagine any portable solar charger that could put a dent in any EV battery pack (unless you mean portable by a large truck).
  4. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    We have 20 panels on our roof, each capable of 365 watts. They produce a peak of 7.3Kw which isn't enough to supply the full charge current for the Clarity. A portable system might have one panel with 200 watts. It would take a week to charge a Clarity.
  6. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    Your 20 panel system would charger the Clarity in just slightly more time than a regular level 2 charger. That is great.

    Now the portable 200w option would ‘only’ take about 74 hours to charge. And most portable options are in the 100-120w range, 200w is best case.

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  8. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Right but you'd need 74 hours of sunshine. That would spread a full charge over several days.
    bfd likes this.
  9. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    The above folks are correct. Within any reasonable definition of “portable”, there is no solar system that would work. Not even to “top off” a Clarity battery.
  10. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    Absolutely. I’d estimate roughly 7-10 days. Lol

    Might work if you went camping somewhere and your car sat charging for a week. Aside from that any top off it would give you would be immaterial with any use.

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  11. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Also, who wants to drag out a solar panel from the trunk every time you stop and pack it back up every time you startup. And how about theft and loss of trunk space. This would only work for me if it was on the shelf under the rear window and then it would be so small that it would only be good (maybe) for float charging the 12v battery. Not even worth running the wires for.
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  13. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Waiting for the Clarity to charge...

    Kestrel, derpster63, Chooch and 2 others like this.
  14. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    Just for fun I plugged some numbers into PVWatts, and your ulimate best case would be a car-footprint-sized roof made out of ultra-high-efficiency modules, which would be around 1400W for a 6'x12' roof. In Phoenix, AZ (pretty much the sunniest place in the US), it would take between 1.5 and 3 days to charge the car with that. It also wouldn't physically fit in the car, so it would have to be at home on a carport.

    More realistically, let's say a 200W thin-film foldable module that covers the roof of the car and a little bit, maybe 3'x6', and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. In July it would take at least a week and a half to charge the car if you were lucky; in the winter it would literally take the entire month.

    Realistically, of course, it's not even electrically possible without either substantial modifications to the car's high-voltage electric system or a decent-sized battery pack hooked to the PV as a buffer and some sort of very smart charger, because the car's charger can't react to sudden changes in the amount of sun available or turn down low enough in the evening.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  15. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    My 2011 Prius was the model with the solar roof (actually about one-half of total roof area) which was just good enough to run an exhaust ventilating fan to keep pulling the interior hot are out of the car. That was all. Even if solar panels were 100% efficient (which, as I understand it, is a physics impossibility) it couldn't be done in a system small enough to carry in the car.

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