Electric VW Bus With Rooftop Solar Array
Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-12-04 17:07:22
Adding a solar powered portable generator module to the top of a self-charging electric vehicle (EV) is not feasible for mass production vehicles, but for those who are willing to work on aftermarket switching, the DIY solar EV is in the affirmative A viable option, as this project is illustrated by Brett and Kira Belen.
This EV conversion project is not Brett's first, nor is Belen's only off-grid solar experience, but it is the most ambitious because the ultimate goal is entirely solar-powered coast to coast. This will not happen until the next round of upgrades to the solar array and battery pack, but the current configuration is sufficient to make Belem in 1400 miles away under the US West Coast.
The solar-powered Volkswagen project utilizes the spacious roof of the 1973 VW transport vehicle as a platform for the installation of a 1.22 kW solar array. The complete hinge mechanism can tilt the solar power generator panel up to 40%, which also creates a sleeping loft during deployment (Similar to the stock VW pop-up campers work the way). A roof frame and aluminum shelf system supports four 305 W LG solar panels, and a custom canvas "tent" enclosure, complete with rear windows, directly below the solar array.
The EV battery pack is currently a set of 12 Troy T-1275 lead-acid batteries sitting behind a bench seat under a custom battery case, right in front of the rear wheel, although this electrical "gas tank" only provides a range of Charging up to 50 miles, the choice of lead-acid battery is an affordability issue, according to Brett. "The price is three times the price, I can install some lithium iron phosphate batteries, but I would like to explain the affordability of this vehicle. The battery pack is fully charged (which also depends on the length of the day and the geographical location) A little more than a day, the average charge day in Belem's house in Ashland, Oregon is known to generate a range of about 15-20 miles of city driving.Vehicles can also be charged through the grid connection, charging the battery for about two hours 20 minutes (using two 20 amp charger).
The original EV conversion project set the Belens to about $ 25,500, including the cost of the bus itself and the internal overhaul, as well as all the various electrical drive controllers and charging system components needed to create an electric mini RV. However, plans to upgrade to a second phase of what they call a solar-powered electric bus project next spring, which will replace the lead-acid battery pack with a 32 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack, which is essentially double the on-board storage capacity (and Will increase the range of each charge to 100 miles), while from the bus to reduce the weight of 500 pounds. In addition to the new battery, a new 6 kW folded solar array, powered by a lighter solar module, will replace the current array, giving upgraded vehicles a solar range of 150 miles per day. The combined cost of upgrading to Phase 2 is said to be around $ 27,000.
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