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Discussion Starter #1
I've had some silly thoughts about doing something like this with flexible solar panels, but never bothered trying to work out a plan because at least half the panels wouldn't be getting sun at any given time. That said, it wouldn't be that hard to build something like this that's self-contained and only opens on the sun-facing side(s). Well, not hard but it'd take a while and would be a ridiculously expensive R&D phase for a "fun" personal project. Now I want to sketch it on index cards. Fun is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. Or something like that?

 

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Unless solar modules become MUCH more efficient per square meter, an array on a vehicle will only provide negligible power.
Anyone who thinks that adding even 2kw array to their EV will give them "free energy" and allow them to drive without ever having to charge from an outlet is sadly mistaken.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Anyone who thinks that adding even 2kw array to their EV will give them "free energy" and allow them to drive without ever having to charge from an outlet is sadly mistaken.
I agree completely. But trying to build something like this for a retractable boondocking setup might be a fun project, at least. Or maybe I just like lofty projects that promote madness. Sort of like the type of person to take on a solo camper van build, perhaps? Those people are nuts.
 

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I agree completely. But trying to build something like this for a retractable boondocking setup might be a fun project, at least. Or maybe I just like lofty projects that promote madness. Sort of like the type of person to take on a solo camper van build, perhaps? Those people are nuts.
There are already 4kw trailer power stations you can buy. And folding/retracting setups so you can get up to 12 modules on top of your van (similar to the power station trailers). You'd still have to park for DAYS not using any power in order to charge up enough to drive for an hour.
 

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For a conversion van that is parked in over cast areas, it could be handy to have solar panels on the side of the van. Catch some early morning and late afternoon charging.

Sometimes having more "hours of solar charing" can reduce the size of the battery pack required.

Not sure that it always works out, but I have been tempted to add a few panels to the side of my van, just as an experiment.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You'd still have to park for DAYS not using any power in order to charge up enough to drive for an hour.
I never said my idea would be for an EV, and pulling a trailer with that much on it would just be stupid for what we do.

I posted this to the Transit Camper Van forum because of how people use solar to charge a camper conversion house battery (silly idea, I know). I thought that would be inferred by where I posted it, but I guess not.
 

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I never said my idea would be for an EV, and pulling a trailer with that much on it would just be stupid for what we do.

I posted this to the Transit Camper Van forum because of how people use solar to charge a camper conversion house battery (silly idea, I know). I thought that would be inferred by where I posted it, but I guess not.
No, the point was taken. I was just raining on the parade about using solar to charge an EV, which the patent seems to be about. Did you see my post elsewhere about the expanding roof rack to expose several modules? More than twice the size of anyone's DIY roof rack array. Similar to this but on a van roof:
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With that much juice charging 1000ah battery bank, you could even "cook" with a microwave and still have enough power to run the Keurig in the morning.
 
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