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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/28/22 2:24 p.m.

I always enjoyed the thought that the solar panel on the roof of the Westfalia was making our fridge work, so we were making ice cubes with THE POWER OF THE SUN!!1! But somehow I hadn't extrapolated that to the EV.  I've found myself starting to take the cost of a trip into account for the liquid fueled vehicles (do I want to pay more than $10 to drive the M5 to work?), but with the solar powered EV it's not ever a consideration.

My only complaint about solar is that I don't get to fiddle with it. I like to play with things, and there's nothing to do. I want to fine-tune it :)

Rons
Rons HalfDork
6/28/22 3:53 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Have you found that the solar array keeps the shop cooler. Array tuning, design a mounting system that tracks the sun and maximizes production.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/28/22 4:16 p.m.

Hard to tell, really. I'd have to be logging the duty cycle of the air conditioners to know for sure. But it does seem they're cycling less. 

I came up with a tracking system that used differential voltages across some small panels to self-optimize, it was pretty cool. But I'm not sure I'd want to build it for our wind levels. I also built a monitoring system that logged output at the individual panel level and that actually identified a problem with the array that is being rectified as we speak. So I've fiddled a little bit...

Rons
Rons HalfDork
6/28/22 6:03 p.m.

I tried finding a picture of a system I know of, The Tseil Wa-Tuth Nation uses solar to power the day care centre and their set-up looks like a road side billboard that turns on the east west axis and pivots on the north south.

java230
java230 PowerDork
6/30/22 12:25 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Always appreciate the updates. I love the wheel stickers. I can see them on my black wheels, and I didn't apply them the best, but yes way cool at low light times! 

Erich
Erich UberDork
7/16/22 6:32 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hey, I don't know if you've seen this yet but SunPower has their own panel-level monitoring built into the app now. If you call your installer they can hook you up. It would be interesting to see if you see any difference from your own panel-level monitoring you've rigged up. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/16/22 7:11 p.m.

Interesting, thanks. It's been a journey with multiple false starts, a quarter of the array is being moved from my shop roof to the garage roof for wiring reasons. Not completely happy about it all but it is what it is. 

I haven't looked at the panel level logs for a while because I knew there was a problem, but this presentation looks much friendlier than raw data in an SQL database :)

https://us.sunpower.com/products/software/mysunpower/panel-level-data

Erich
Erich UberDork
7/16/22 7:25 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

in my experience so far it works quite well, and I'm glad they implemented it.

Sorry to hear about your install. Hopefully the new arrangement works well for you. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/16/22 7:38 p.m.

The only downside of the new arrangement is aesthetics, really. I liked the low key shop roof installation, it was stealthy. The relocated panels will be visible on the flat garage roof but I'm hoping the architecture of the house will take them gracefully. 

 The installer needed to bore a new main line from the shop to the house, and encountered difficulties. I should have made him keep trying. The good news is that if I want to expand my array, it'll just be a matter of plugging them into the existing shop circuit and accepting that a few will go offline at peak summer production times. 

The good news is that even slightly handicapped, the array seems to be offsetting all our electricity use (year round) at a cost that will probably save us $200 this month. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/27/22 12:43 p.m.

 The Olive Garden Experiment.

A few months back, I learned I could send a destination to the Tesla from Google Maps on my phone. It's pretty slick, I just choose to share, like I would send it via text or in an email or whatever and it pops up on the car's navigation screen. Since the car's nav is fully integrated with the rest of the vehicle including things like charging and range, this is more useful than something like CarPlay would be.

Since then, I have been randomly telling the car it wants to go to Olive Garden to see if Janel would say anything. She is not a fan of the Olive Garden and we never go there, although at the start of this she'd just had to go for a work thing so she'd been ranting about it. I've probably directed the car to Olive Garden several dozen times.

No reaction. Nothing. I wasn't sure it was working, but it worked when I tried to do it for real for my own purposes.

I was using my phone to send a legit destination to the car while talking to her and showed her what I was doing. I then asked her if the car had been trying to go to Olive Garden. Turns out yes, it has. But she just accepted it as some sort of weird software bug and carried on. For MONTHS.

We live in a world where we accept that our cars just want to go to Olive Garden occasionally.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom UltimaDork
7/27/22 5:19 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Depressingly, I read that as indicating that we live in a world where we just expect the neat stuff we have to be substantially broken and buggy all the time.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/27/22 6:24 p.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

You're not wrong. Could be worse, we could be expecting to have to adjust our points by the side of the road with a matchbook ;)

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
7/27/22 9:00 p.m.

I can see a future where you have to pay a fee to not have your car tell you to go to Olive Garden. 

It will be paid for along with your heated seats. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/27/22 9:05 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

Ever looked at the Kindle? That's exactly how they're sold. 

And, uhh, this forum...

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/3/22 10:45 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hey Kieth; 

    I was cleaning the battery posts on my wife's car and wondered.  Is that going to be a maintenance item on EV's?  I'm not thinking of the main connection but from cell to cell?  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/3/22 10:50 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Not unless they're using acid-filled wet cells, I suspect. That corrosion is usually a byproduct of the chemistry.

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