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2021 AWD Pro S
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built a 2.1kw solar trailer to charge my ID.4. Its a state of the art 15 years ago used off grid system with outback 3600 watt inverter, MX-60 amp MPPT charge control and a new 48v 5kw AGM battery bank. Its producing an average of 11kwh per day. This will use the 120v cord that comes with the ID.4, and it could also power almost anything I want in my house during power outages since I ran a line inside the house. The slow L1 charge I can get from it of 50 mi/day is fine for me unless on a road trip. Its a similar system to what I used to sell 20 years ago when I designed, sold and installed solar PV as a job.

It also has a remote control and display I can use from my la-z-boy to turn it on/off and see live watts/volts/amps from PV, and how many watts the inverter is putting out. One of the black totes contains the inverter and charge control on the trailer tongue, the other has the 4 batteries. By loosening 2 bolts per row I can adjust them in towards the center about a foot for road travel, and 2 other bolts I can change the tilt angle to optimize for different times of year. This is currently set for the lowest sun angle to avoid any shading of the back row on the winter solstice.

I also have a grid tied 8.25kw solar system on my roof which I will use for L2 charging when I need, and grid tie is the easiest way to do solar. But I can't take that with me. This would get some looks if I ever towed it behind my ID.4.

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ID.4 Pro S Gradient AWD pre-ordered 9/23/2020
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Would the addtional weight and reduced aerodynamics outweigh the additional energy produced? My bet is yes, but I think we need a test to know for sure.
Well if the ID.4 is like every other EV I鈥檓 aware of, you can鈥檛 charge it while it鈥檚 powered on, so we鈥檒l never find out I suppose!
 

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Well if the ID.4 is like every other EV I鈥檓 aware of, you can鈥檛 charge it while it鈥檚 powered on, so we鈥檒l never find out I suppose!
Yeah, I was just thinking you measure the decrease in range while towing it, and compare to the production on a similar day from a stationary setup. Though I'd absolutely be curious to see it happen real-time with mobile charging. The disappointment that would happen when you see the car say it's charging, but also showing precipitously declining range estimate...
 

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2021 AWD Pro S
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used 12x 175w sharp panels which you can find great deals on for about $50 now. Mine were only used about a year then stored in a barn, and put out higher than their rating for me in testing them the last few months. There must be some old, large systems they are selling off.
 

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2021 ID.4 1st Blue - del. 3/16/21 sold 6/4/22
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Nice setup! Have you tested to make sure the ID.4's included EVSE and the car are happy about the power from the battery bank? I tried charging mine with an inverter generator and it displayed a blinking house faulty, meaning PE Break Error, Live PE Error, or A/C voltage error per the sticker on the EVSE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't tested it yet, but this inverter is top of the line $3000 when new and weighs 45 pounds, so its no comparison to most on the market now. It starts surge loads up to 10kw. I have experience running picky GFI and AFCI on these inverters. Generators are much more off voltage and frequency than this inverter which holds perfect on both even on surge loads. What size and brand of generator did you try?
 

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2021 ID.4 1st Blue - del. 3/16/21 sold 6/4/22
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The one I tested was a small Generac, 2000W peak, I think. I didn鈥檛 really test much, it was just coincidence that I was showing my ID.3 to a friend and he happened to be doing his occasional test of his generator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I thought you might have the same idea as me and probably others here: Put a small 2x4' mesh platform in the hitch, with a little generator like a honda eu3000, and a couple fuel cans. A mountain middle of nowhere range extender! (that instantly makes a cool EV become uncool.)

Here is a story that belongs in this thread: When I was at the dealer a few days ago for my test drive and the salesman said "This will be cheap to charge at home!" and I said "it will be free for me to charge at home". He got real interested and asked a bunch of questions about PV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
To update this thread, I have been charging my car 100% on solar and 100% free for the past month and this trailer is working great, no grid required. I will update the OP since some were doubting that this would work, and at that point I had no car to test it with. It works with the stock EVSE that came with the car at 10a, but I use my Goplug smart EVSE since it lets me monitor and change the charge rate from my la-z-boy over wifi from 10-15 amps at 120v, and turn it on/off from my windows browser or my phone.

One thing I would like to do is to automate the charge rate and the on/off, which the goplug can do, but I have not yet found a good way to monitor the 48v battery level and then send the EVSE commands over wifi, which would probably be the best way to automate.
 

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You just give me inspiration to make something like this for my vacation house in the middle of nowhere. With trailer as mobile solution . I have already seating 105 kWh battery banks, inverters and other hardware. Now i need good sized trailer that is capable to carry all and eliminate diesel generator what was my original idea.
Thanks a lot for this @SunWizard.
You should turn this hobby into good way to make money and make for others that have no time or skills.
If you where in Spain i would hire you to make one for me. I do have skills but my time is always problematic with my work schedule, but i will take time to make something like this.
 

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Nice setup! Have you tested to make sure the ID.4's included EVSE and the car are happy about the power from the battery bank? I tried charging mine with an inverter generator and it displayed a blinking house faulty, meaning PE Break Error, Live PE Error, or A/C voltage error per the sticker on the EVSE.
You probably had problem with floating ground that some high frequency inverters have or not pure sine inverter type, ripple is bad for ID4 onboard inverter and it will protect himself. Regarding ID4 onboard inverter, it is soft start ( raising current slowly to the max allowed set by EVSE.
Best are the ones that are using slow frequency ( transformer style).
 

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I haven't tested it yet, but this inverter is top of the line $3000 when new and weighs 45 pounds, so its no comparison to most on the market now. It starts surge loads up to 10kw. I have experience running picky GFI and AFCI on these inverters. Generators are much more off voltage and frequency than this inverter which holds perfect on both even on surge loads. What size and brand of generator did you try?
What is your idle draw with this i assume transformer style inverter?
And you should experiment with single phase 240 V EU style this way you can charge at 2.4 kWh theoretically, but you should see how much more you loose 120V vs 240V EU on conversion using 48-60V DC battery bank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes its an old but long lasting transformer style. Idle draw is 25 watts, so I turn it off at night if I am around. I don't need a bigger charge rate since my 2100 watts of panels has proven to be well size balanced to my EVSE setting of 1200- 1800w max. I agree a 240v inverter would gain a little efficiency, but I know how good Outbacks are, and this one was cheap!
 

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My are around 160 lbs with disconnect and terminal bars. Low frequency big heavy duty transformer. 2X overload for 30 minutes and 3X overload for 60 seconds. 27 watts idle draw 95% efficient. And some custom built hardware for using coolant for cooling systems down. Outback are designed with high quality and life expectancy under harsh conditions. I believe that Outback could be easily converted to coolant type of cooling and be used to the overload specifications without shutting down from overheating.
 
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