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Solar Panel(s) as power while car is off

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  • Solar Panel(s) as power while car is off

    Would a 10 to 15 watt solar panel act as enough to counteract the battery drain by a computer in standby?

    Other than that, would there be any benefits of a solar panel recharging the gas powered car's battery?

  • #2
    Well, does your setup need 10-15 watts or more?

    Since there exists 10 watt solar panel trickle chargers for car batteries, I would assume that if you set it up correctly, it shouldn't harm anything (though I'm uneasy about the idea of constantly recharging).
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    • #3
      yea it would help. might not be 100% tho cuz of clouds and what not.
      but when the car is on you should disconnet the solorpanel, so like with a relay to ign.
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      • #4
        Your system in standby isn't going to draw anywhere near to that.
        Sure, the solar panel idea will work, but you wouldn't need it unless you park your car for extended periods of time....
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?



        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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        • #5
          What about when it's standing by overnight?
          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bugbyte
            What about when it's standing by overnight?
            It still shouldn't dar enough power to drain your battery....

            Now, if you have TWO computers in your car in standby, it might not make it through the night...
            Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
            How about the Wiki?



            Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bugbyte
              What about when it's standing by overnight?
              You get a lot of sunshine overnight there in VA?

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              • #8
                there have been people use solar panels in SQ comps for bonus points. We all know that they are absolutely useless. in order to get enough juice to charge your battery you would have to have a HUGE solar panel.

                If you just want to trickle charge it while it's in the parking lot at the air port say, then sure, it's possible, the VWs came with them for a while, I've got one even.

                Else, you're looking at a VERY expensive, very large panel for something like this.
                Jan Bennett
                FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                • #9
                  I think that was the idea....
                  If he has a
                  PC in standby mode, using a trickle charge to keep the battery at a full charge while the PC is in standby mode...
                  Again, I think it's a workable solution in theory. In real-world use, I don't know. It's certainly an interesting idea.
                  Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                  How about the Wiki?



                  Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                  • #10
                    I'll put it this way, the VW solar panel that VW released to be used on their cars while in the lots waiting to be sold, was about the size of a normal sheet of paper. You would probably need one larger to cover the carPC drain on top of other electronics. Where would you put that? How would you secure it? How would you make it look nice and not like some ghetto rigged piece?
                    Jan Bennett
                    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Red GTi VR6
                      How would you secure it? How would you make it look nice and not like some ghetto rigged piece?
                      If ANYONE could do that it'd be you, red.

                      Anyway, I've considered some sort of solar pwr system for the top of The Yacht...but again, the problem is that it rarely sits still...so that'd be kinda useless. More useful would be an ac to dc pwr supply, connected to a plug (maybe like you see on the outsides of houses) that you could plug into when you pull into the driveway, just have an extension cord (or perhaps a retractable cord inside the vehicle somehow, like on a spring-loaded reel) to plug into the house power.

                      I saw something similar on the vehicle that delivers my BioDiesel...they have the capacity to run the pumps on the truck from normal 120ac instead of havin to keep the truck running to pump fuel into my tank. They just plug right into the nearest ac outlet and they're in business.

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                      • #12
                        Solar panels are NOT durable to boot...

                        hail? hard rain? rocks? debris from the road? Solar panels don't take kindly to that stuff. The expensive ones fair better, but...they are expensive...lol
                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                        • #13
                          I have a small solar panel from harbor freight, the panel is probably 5"x12" or so, and it's rated at 1.5 watts. With that said, I came back to my (previous) car one sunny day to find the radio playing softly... I hadn't yet realized that the cigarette lighter was not connected to the battery when the car was off (thus not allowing the panel to charge the battery), but the radio was on the same circuit so the panel was powering it. It was obviously pretty quiet, but it was at least playing through the speakers, leading me to believe that it puts out a lot more than 1.5 watts in bright sunlight.

                          Either way, it's probably something you'd have to test out. You could certainly get a big enough one to run it in standby indefinitely, but it's hard to say how big you'd need without simply experimenting. No matter what size you get, at the very least it will at least help extend the battery life, even if it's not enough to keep it going forever.
                          But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
                          Originally posted by Viscouse
                          I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
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                          • #14
                            I'd look at the cost of the solar panel project compared to the percentage of time you'd actually NEED to have it trickle charge your vehicles power system.

                            For example, most of us use our cars daily and rarely do our cars sit untouched for more than 2 or 3 days at a time. A simple 10.00 "killswitch" would prevent a battery from draining if you know your car will be sitting for more than 3 days.

                            I think the cost out weighs the conveniance factor. Beleive me, in this hobby, you gotta pick and choose where your funds go. Unless you've got a money tree in your back yard.
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                            • #15
                              i've been researching this a bit because there are a lot of advantages to having the carpc stay in standby. you can get a briefcase sized unit that folds out and puts out 13-15 watts. depending on the car you could put it in your back window and it wouldn't look too bad. plus, those units are already configured for use in cars so you don't have to worry about over-charging or turning them off.

                              i still haven't figured out whether you could get enough power to make it worthwhile though (overnight, overcast, overpriced, etc.)

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