Once you have solar panels on your house (and assuming you have excess capacity) it just makes sense to have a car you can fuel from the roof. The environmental benefit is a nice-to-have, certainly - but mainly it just makes sense because you are generating your own electricity! It makes you want to convert as much non-electric stuff to electric as makes sense.
I originally got solar with the intent of eventually getting an electric car... and all the manufacturers stopped selling them. I am so glad Tesla came along.
Graham: My parents don't have enough roof real estate to cover our cost 100%, but we would be covering about 50% (maybe a little more) of our cost.
My older brother has been trying to get my parents to get solar for a couple years, and in my last year, roughly, of college I started pushing my dad and than we started going through the process. My brother's biggest push was because of electricity prices and how solar would be great in keeping cost down (once it's paid for itself) and the environmental impact also. It is looking like we will be paying somewhere in the low to mid teens for solar panels after rebates and tax incentives (i.e. $11,000-$15,000) which is pretty good.
So getting solars panels and then getting an electric car was never the intent. Of course, I would love to get an electric car just so I don't have to be dependent on fuel companies (and it would save so much not having to buy gas every one or two weeks).
Sorry bout getting off topic.
From this thread:
My PV installation is 8.1 kw on my roof, I have about 14kw capacity with my inverter, so I have a bit of room for expansion on my generation side... but am running low on surface area as I only have a 1200 sq ft home.How big is your system? Grid tied or off-grid? I want to buy two 180 watt Evergreen panels and MPPT charge controller to make off-grid test system to power my two computers and audio gear. A local solar panel store got those panels for $3.18 per watt. I already have 12V 200Ah AGM battery and xantrex prosine 2.0 inverter. I have it setup as the UPS for all of my electronics and few table lamps.
My system is grid tied, but has a battery backup. So instead of going just to feed the grid, it feeds my battery system first, and the rest of my house runs off of that UPS. I have 24 giant lead acid batteries that all of my 15 amp circuits run off of (although my 30 amp circuits are still directly on grid). If my utility power fails, my batteries automatically kick in, and my house continues uninterrupted. The power in my neighborhood was so noisy that my system has paid for itself just in the electronic equipment that no longer dies on a regular basis due to brown outs.
I have not yet gotten an external generator in case the power is out for a long time during the rainy season when I don't generate as much electricity from the roof. I plan to add that some day.
I have only 4kW... Grid tied with no battery backup.
My power bill is basically $0 except for the $12/month grid connect (meter) fee.
I have an old ICE generator that I fire up if the power goes off for a while. I just use it to keep the fridge and icebox cold since power outages are so rare where I live.
My EV is usually charging other than at home so my PV only contributes a little to the EV... Mostly just covers our regular energy use (lights, TVs, washers, etc.)
my goal also. I have two electric vehicles already and my Tesla will be the third.
The Vectrix is about 3.7 kwh, or about 4 kwh for a full recharge with losses included. It is good for about 30 to 35 miles of hard riding.
The Hymotion Prius is about 5 kwh and typically I see about 5.2 kwh drawn for a full recharge. It is also good for about 30-40 miles of electric boost (100+ mpg) on my Prius.
The Tesla will be a bit different. I don't expect to need a full recharge each time. I typically drive 30 miles per day. So maybe 10 kwh per day for the Tesla?
And if my wife is driving the Hymotion Prius that will be another 5 kwh per day.
My goal is to offset 100% of my EV/PHEV miles from the solar system and also have some of the house electricity covered.
Last edited by James; 12-17-2008 at 09:25 PM.
Very nice! Do you have to clean them often? I want to build something on a small scale for experimenting. I also want it to power something I use, like my computer or few lights. I've read somewhere that cold weather increases PV cell efficiency. I was wondering how much more efficiency i can get from the panel if I water cool it on very hot summer days. I would seal up the back side of the panel and pump cold water from the lake through it.
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