Solar mounted on roof of Pacifica plug in van - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Solar mounted on roof of Pacifica plug in van

I'm interested to mount solar on the roof of the van.
I did some rough calculations and the small battery is actually well sized to the amount of roof area of the van. It would just about charge it over a 6 hour day.
Let me know if you are interested in this idea and we can work on it together?

I like the idea of this because you don't have to install a charging station, worry about plugging it in (if it is wired in), and it travels with you.
The real savings for me is that it would replace a backup generator. You could have air conditioning/heat and maybe power a small refrigerator too?
It could be a nice remote camping solution or bug out vehicle! Ultimate road trip.

You could skip the inverter and charge the DC battery directly and would just need a voltage regulator and skips the costs of an inverter.

Hope to hear back your interest and ideas on this!

-Dan
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DanDIY View Post
I'm interested to mount solar on the roof of the van.
I did some rough calculations and the small battery is actually well sized to the amount of roof area of the van. It would just about charge it over a 6 hour day.
Let me know if you are interested in this idea and we can work on it together?

I like the idea of this because you don't have to install a charging station, worry about plugging it in (if it is wired in), and it travels with you.
The real savings for me is that it would replace a backup generator. You could have air conditioning/heat and maybe power a small refrigerator too?
It could be a nice remote camping solution or bug out vehicle! Ultimate road trip.

You could skip the inverter and charge the DC battery directly and would just need a voltage regulator and skips the costs of an inverter.

Hope to hear back your interest and ideas on this!

-Dan
Dan - As someone with solar, I don't see how this pencils out. Even if you fit the best possible solar panel onto the roof, you are going to be able to fit maybe one panel. If this was rated for 350 watts and it was laid flat (not optimal), you are probably going to see it outputting 270-300 watts total. If you multiply that out over 12 hours of production with realistically 5 hours of those being prime production, you are probably going to generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 kwh for the battery. That is enough to charge the useable portion of the battery between 15 and 25 percent. The added weight to the vehicle would also increase your electric use. Perhaps consider solar for your home?

Again, I'm being generous with these numbers. My 3.2kW system usually produces no more than 2.25kW at any given time, and they are mounted at a roughly 22 degree angle.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by invaderc1 View Post
Dan - As someone with solar, I don't see how this pencils out. Even if you fit the best possible solar panel onto the roof, you are going to be able to fit maybe one panel. If this was rated for 350 watts and it was laid flat (not optimal), you are probably going to see it outputting 270-300 watts total. If you multiply that out over 12 hours of production with realistically 5 hours of those being prime production, you are probably going to generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 kwh for the battery. That is enough to charge the useable portion of the battery between 15 and 25 percent. The added weight to the vehicle would also increase your electric use. Perhaps consider solar for your home?

Again, I'm being generous with these numbers. My 3.2kW system usually produces no more than 2.25kW at any given time, and they are mounted at a roughly 22 degree angle.
You beat me to everything I was going to say. There is not enough roof to meet the electrical requirements of this vehicle.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 12:07 PM
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I'm pretty sure that the increased aerodynamic drag would cancel out any power generated. It would have to be built into the roof to provide any benefit.

Grand Rapids, MI
2017 PHEV Pacifica Platinum, ordered 1/14/17, picked up 4/26/17.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 01:00 PM
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https://thinkprogress.org/prius-sola...h-2b929f467061

Don't see why a van wouldn't benefit even more, if you don't have the sunroof.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 01:15 PM
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Possible? Yes. Effective? Maybe. Expensive? Oh boy.

For my money, I would put an extra battery pack in the 3rd row storage well like the prius guys have been known to do: Plug In Supply | Plug-In Upgrades for the Toyota Prius

Or, if you want a less expensive option you can apply the old EV trick of "adjusting the nut behind the wheel".
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 01:24 PM
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by OCPacifica View Post
The sq footage applied in that article is quite a bit more than Dan was discussing. Also, please do not take one of these beautiful machines and bolt that monstrosity to the top. I would imagine the range on that thing is atrocious as well. I didn't see it listed in the article.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 09:16 PM
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I imagine getting in an accident where the fire department needs to cut the vehicle to get out people having a live circuit on the roof and floor would be problematic


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDIY View Post
I'm interested to mount solar on the roof of the van.
I did some rough calculations and the small battery is actually well sized to the amount of roof area of the van. It would just about charge it over a 6 hour day.
Let me know if you are interested in this idea and we can work on it together?

I like the idea of this because you don't have to install a charging station, worry about plugging it in (if it is wired in), and it travels with you.
The real savings for me is that it would replace a backup generator. You could have air conditioning/heat and maybe power a small refrigerator too?
It could be a nice remote camping solution or bug out vehicle! Ultimate road trip.

You could skip the inverter and charge the DC battery directly and would just need a voltage regulator and skips the costs of an inverter.

Hope to hear back your interest and ideas on this!

-Dan
You need to look at the power draw of the uses you state, Air cond, heat, small refer, etc none of these can be powered with a solar panel that would fit on a Pacifica. Even under optimistic conditions, it would take about a week to charge the Lithium battery bank.
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