Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone here have experience charging an EV with a Solar Generator?

I'm wondering if it makes sense to buy one of these for around 2k to 3k and using the stored solar power each day to add miles to the Bolt.

I'm not thinking that the system will really pay for itself but it would be nice to have a solar backup in case of power outage.

Any thoughts or experiences to share?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,451 Posts
Does anyone here have experience charging an EV with a Solar Generator?

I'm wondering if it makes sense to buy one of these for around 2k to 3k and using the stored solar power each day to add miles to the Bolt.

I'm not thinking that the system will really pay for itself but it would be nice to have a solar backup in case of power outage.

Any thoughts or experiences to share?
how many amp hours are you looking at for that cost?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
The $3000 solar generators have a max storage of 3 kWh. Lets say you can get about 2 kWh into your car battery from this. The 2 kWh is also a nice number to use for the degradation of the battery in the solar generator. To get back your $3000 you would need to use the system for 21 years every day at $0.20 per kWh.

The max miles you could get from those generators is about 10 miles in a day. Doesn't seem like that would help much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
I found this article. Of course it is $40,000 to $50,000. (There's another example here).

By my calculation, it should be possible to create a Level-1 charging solution for about $7500. It would useless for actually charging significantly, but might be adequate for cabin and battery conditioning during a sunny day.

But I think overall, custom solar chargers for cars are probably a gimmick. Just have solar adding to the regular grid and car chargers that pull from the grid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The $3000 solar generators have a max storage of 3 kWh. Lets say you can get about 2 kWh into your car battery from this. The 2 kWh is also a nice number to use for the degradation of the battery in the solar generator. To get back your $3000 you would need to use the system for 21 years every day at $0.20 per kWh.

The max miles you could get from those generators is about 10 miles in a day. Doesn't seem like that would help much.
Actually, I'm seeing 4.8 kWh units for around 3k. I think I could probably get about 15 miles per day out of it.

But the point is not to get all my money back. The idea is that I'd like to have the unit for my home when the power goes out. I recoup a little of the cost by using it help to power the Bolt.

I'm wondering if that's a serious option or a silly idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Actually, I'm seeing 4.8 kWh units for around 3k. I think I could probably get about 15 miles per day out of it.

But the point is not to get all my money back. The idea is that I'd like to have the unit for my home when the power goes out. I recoup a little of the cost by using it help to power the Bolt.

I'm wondering if that's a serious option or a silly idea.
The only 4.8 kWh solar generators I see are over $7000 and don't have solar panels. Please give me the make and model so I can see it. For 15 miles I think it is a silly idea. For 4.8 kWh of electricity to run lights and other essentials during a couple day power outage it may be worth it.
 

·
Registered
2021 Bolt Premier
Joined
·
3,521 Posts
I'm doing the opposite: Using the Bolt to power critical loads in the house.

I'm using a 1.5kW pure sine-wave inverter off of the aux battery + and ground lug on the firewall, through a 150A fuse and Anderson 175A connector via #2 AWG battery cables. Note: Don't tie the inverter ground to the battery. There's a current sensor from the chassis ground to the - terminal of the aux battery. The "excessive" load an inverter presents triggers some vehicle trouble codes. (Thanks to another poster here for that nugget.) When left on, the Bolt's 57kW traction battery uses its ~2kW DC-DC converter to keep the aux battery charged, and can power our mini-fridge, a full-size freezer, microwave oven (intermittently) and cell-phone chargers for about a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Per google, for AGM batteries you're not going to get more than 3 to 5 years with regular usage, and 6 to 8 years with optimal maintenance. AGM batteries are what's in your link Usain, that's why the price is cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Actually, I'm seeing 4.8 kWh units for around 3k. I think I could probably get about 15 miles per day out of it.

But the point is not to get all my money back. The idea is that I'd like to have the unit for my home when the power goes out. I recoup a little of the cost by using it help to power the Bolt.

I'm wondering if that's a serious option or a silly idea.
How many significant power outs have you had in the last ~10 years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
How many significant power outs have you had in the last ~10 years?

In California, there was one time in the last 16 years I have been here that I would have wanted one. However, I grew up in upstate NY. Power went down frequently, sometimes for days. Blizzards, hurricanes, ice storms, and even a tornado killed power numerous times. If I lived in NY I would have gotten a PowerWall installed. Here in the Central Valley the only thing that takes down power is heat waves and drunk idiots running into power poles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
In California, there was one time in the last 16 years I have been here that I would have wanted one. However, I grew up in upstate NY. Power went down frequently, sometimes for days. Blizzards, hurricanes, ice storms, and even a tornado killed power numerous times. If I lived in NY I would have gotten a PowerWall installed. Here in the Central Valley the only thing that takes down power is heat waves and drunk idiots running into power poles.
And Usain?

I (jaysicle) am from Southern Ontario Canada, so maybe just a little south of upstate N.Y. :) - but similar weather.
However, with more similar data to disco's California. 2 instances over 15 years.

1) August 14 2003 (untrimmed tree in Ohio) knocked out N.A. Eastern seaboard plus (felt ~(6) six hours here) and
2) December 13 2013, (ice storm) Another (6) hours.
Prior to that 1994 - ice storm mostly Quebec though did not live in this exact location, but the effect felt was not as significant around here as in Quebec.

My experience and numbers are likely a poor representation as well as we are ~70km from Sir Adam Beck I and II in Niagara Falls.

And now that I have typed that - I am going to put a 9V in my alarm clock - in case I just spoiled the shut-out :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I’m getting a solar array installed in two weeks. Will have 4350 watts on the panels, 6000 watt inverter. My utility does not do net metering so I’m all self-consumption. Also getting a Tesla Powerwall but that’s on backorder (not surprising ;-) ). In my situation, if the Bolt is actively charging at 7.2 kWh, it can take all the solar power and will still pull from the grid unless I reduce the power output of the EVSE (a JuiceBox). Will report back on how all this works out...

-Joel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And Usain?
My power goes out a couple of times per year. It's never been out for an extended period of time, but others nearby have had outages that lasted a few days.

I just want to be prepared. I think solar generators have huge advantages over traditional diesel generators.

Solar power for the whole house doesn't make a lot of sense where I live. But I like the idea of generating a little solar power each day and putting it into my car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
My power goes out a couple of times per year. It's never been out for an extended period of time, but others nearby have had outages that lasted a few days.

I just want to be prepared. I think solar generators have huge advantages over traditional diesel generators.

Solar power for the whole house doesn't make a lot of sense where I live. But I like the idea of generating a little solar power each day and putting it into my car.

Solar generators only have a two advantages I can think of. They should be better for the environment, but that could be argued with a battery that has a lifespan of 4 to 5 years like you linked. The other one is solar generators are quieter. Traditional diesel generators are more powerful, can produce energy even at night, are cheaper, and can produce energy on demand. The only reason I would get a solar generator is if I went camping and I could produce energy without upsetting people around me using a loud diesel generator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Solar generators only have a two advantages I can think of. They should be better for the environment, but that could be argued with a battery that has a lifespan of 4 to 5 years like you linked. The other one is solar generators are quieter. Traditional diesel generators are more powerful, can produce energy even at night, are cheaper, and can produce energy on demand. The only reason I would get a solar generator is if I went camping and I could produce energy without upsetting people around me using a loud diesel generator.
The other advantages of solar generators over diesel:
* Don't have to buy diesel fuel
* The fuel for solar never runs out
* Lower maintenance
* You can operate it indoors
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Having a solar generator it doesn't worth it. I agree with the guys, there some advantages but.. I don't know I charged my car at home until I had got large bills on electricity. I had an expensive supplier btw and it was not funny to pay the. Because of this, I compared my energy prices on usave.co.uk and I decided to change the supplier with a cheaper tariff. In the future I would like to install solar panels, I still save money for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Five years ago I got home solar (grid-tied, net metering) and specified a system with an SMA inverter with a "secure power supply," which is a plug that can be powered from solar when the power goes out. I've used it several times, to run the fridge, internet router, and yes, to charge the car. It will only do level 1 charging, but on a sunny day it can add 10 or more kWh to the battery. For my money, this was a better option than anything stand-alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Installing a photovoltaic system needs to be carefully considered. With net metering and the subsidies I received, I calculated that my payback time is 8-9 years. Without net metering and the subsidies, the payback period is 20+ years. I installed my system years before I bought the Bolt. It produces about 3 Mw/hours per year more than the house uses. So, adding the car to the load made sense. You need to carefully consider the costs and savings of a photovoltaic system. The base cost of a 10 kw/hour system when I installed it was $40,000.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top