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Car charging

 
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Hi all. I've got a plan to build a charging station for an F150E. Solar and wind turbine, with some kind of energy storage (I hate batteries...). If I could charge a vehicle essentially for free every night, that might change my views in E vehicles.
 
steward & bricolagier
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What kind of storage are you considering besides batteries?
 
Rocket Scientist
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Hi Dugal;  Welcome to Permies!
So Solar & wind to recharge a F-150E .
Great Idea!  
You hate battery's though...  Hmmmm
Well solar works great during the day (if the sun shines) and wind works 24 hrs a day  (If the wind blows 20 mph )
Without battery's, how would you store it in a usable form?
Microchips? Or whatever those little gizmo's are called, that store power and then dump the whole load out in a place of your choice?

I have to tell you that wind power is only really viable where the winds blow constantly above 15mph.
Solar, especially higher voltages is very viable and affordable compared to wind, just not at night.

Lots of batterys out there in many styles.
There is a big market in using takeout l ion battery's from cars.
Nickel Iron , Nickle cad , good old lead acid.
 
pollinator
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Dugal Brown wrote:If I could charge a vehicle essentially for free every night, that might change my views in E vehicles.



It's a great idea, and I don't wish to be negative, but I'm not sure your expectations are practical. Solar energy and wind may be free, but the hardware that converts them into usable forms is certainly not. There is a big up-front investment, and the energy flows when it feels like it.

I have contemplated a used electric car with solar panels for forays into town once or twice a week. I think that is viable. It will be backed up with a gasoline powered vehicle.

If you want reliable full charging every day you will either have to have a large solar array and a big battery bank --  or a connection to the grid. The grid, frankly, will probably be cheaper. My 2c.
 
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If you hate batteries, use super capacitors. There was a fellow a while back that built a super capacitor "car battery" to start is small car. Seemed to work fine. Downside is less capacity than a battery. Upsides are the capacitors are lighter, charge and discharge faster.
 
pollinator
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I had an old Honda civic that I couldn't get started because of weak battery and no battery charger.

I pushed it down the hill,..
and back up because it was too slick for the wheels to grab.
Worn out I put a ratchet on the crank bolt.
Transverse engine so it was through the wheel well.
Turned it once and it started.

Crank starting has been around since the first engines.

Ooops, kinda posted off topic.
Sounds like you want an electric vehicle.
Not a way to start a conventional internal combustion engine.
 
Dugal Brown
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Ya, thats the question. Batteries are really the only practical DC storage system but there are others although cost is prohibitive. In my business (battery backup systems, what else) we have Flywheel storage devices available but not really cost effective for a homeowner. Molten Sodium? ha.
Ultra capacitors are my hope for the future but theyre not quite there yet. Batteries it is for now. I would prefer wet cells (VLA) in parallel at 24vdc would probably be the most practical. Of course for now, buying diesel for my Chevy is easiest. A lot of technology needs to evolve before the convenience of fossil fuel is surpassed. Still, I'm looking for a wind turbine right now to get started.
 
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Do you know what the charging specifications for the battery are?  That is, does the battery BMS accept AC, or DC, what voltage and amperage is necessary.  Your typical charging station is 240VAC.  You can't just hook up some wiring at some random voltage and expect it to work.
 
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There's a little math you can do to figure out what you'd need. First how big are the batteries and how long do you want it to take to charge back to full?

Let's say for argument's sake that you want to charge to full in less than a day and you will sometimes want to drive during daylight hours. Your truck's battery is 115KWh. That's a lot.

I don't know where you live but let's say you get the equivalent of 5 hours of 100% sun. You'd need 23000W of solar panels to charge up every day. If you're willing to put some work in you can get the panels you need for about $0.20 per watt, or $4600.

Ok, that's a huge system and you probably aren't driving the range of the vehicle every day. Let's consider a system that's 1/4 of that. This means you can continuously drive 1/4 of the range and charge back up, or charge to full over 4 days.

Then you're looking at a 6000W system and things get a bit more reasonable. You need about $1200 in solar panels. Then you need an inverter that handles 6000W easily, Maybe $3500. Mounting and wiring will cost some more, but you can do a lot of it yourself.

This assumes you're allowed to build an off-grid system. If local rules prevent that (meaning you have to feed back into the grid), costs go way up.

If you want to charge your vehicle at night, and use your fancy system to run a toaster or something, batteries aren't so bad. A lot of DIYers are taking batteries which have finished their useful life inside a car (Nissan Leaf batteries are popular) and giving them a new life (at reduced capacity but you plan for that) in a home solar setup. If you want around 20KWh of storage it might run you $3000. Then you get a charger (another $1200) and the system works like this: panels feed the chargers, chargers feed the batteries, batteries feed the inverter and the inverter feeds your truck. That way when you aren't using the sun it's being stored so you can pull from it at night.

I'm sure I've got some details wrong, but I'd love to hear from people who have tried this at their homesteads. I'm aiming to build a 6000W off-grid solar setup with 20KWh of batteries for around $10k, and go with electric machines over gas whenever I can. I know it's going to be a challenge, and impractical in a lot of ways, but that's the fun part.

Good luck with your setup! The E-F-150 looks awesome!



 
pollinator
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The math tells me the best solar solution for a vehicle that does not include the vehicle parked there during the day is a grid tied net metered system.vpump them in during the sunny hours, suck them back out at night.
 
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