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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone who has an ID4 (mine has not yet arrived) have any experience charging it from a battery bank, portable PV panel, or power station?

I don't have a long commute and sticking a 330W panel on the roof rack, inverter, and plugging in a the level 1 charger cable for 9 hours while I am working could get me 5-8 miles a day. That is a significant chunk of my daily mileage and a fun project. Not a bad doomsday prep either.

I can't find any examples of ID4 owners doing this or datasheets that tell me anything about the min input to the level 1 charger. Everything on Youtube is a BIG battery bank in the trunk or charging direct to the battery or covering a leaf in panels, or something way more invasive than I am talking about. I want a tiny off grid system to toss a few free miles in while it sits in a bright sunny parking lot.

NOTE: I AM NOT INTERESTED IN THE MATH ON MILEAGE, OR ARGUING ABOUT IF THIS IS WORTH IT, ETC.
Objective: I am looking for if the car or level 1 charger have a minimum current or wattage or if anyone has done something similar and can comment on if it works or not?
ie. Jackery 250 power station to Level 1 charger. 300 W PV panel to 300W inverter to Level 1 charger.
 

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I have designed and installed many off grid PV systems which is what you are doing. Yes I have done it for my ID.4, see my solar trailer here:
It works with my goplug charger at 15 amps, which is 1800 watts. For the stock charger, its is 10A x 120V = 1200 watts, so the minimum inverter I would recommend is 2000 watts. You need a battery, I recommend at least 12v 100ah = 1200 wh to handle a cloud blocking it for a few minutes. This is much bigger than a Jackery 250 but they do make them this large, this would work: goal zero yeti 1500x
You won't get 9 hours unless you track the sun keeping it aimed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I try to run the lvl 1 charger with a smaller inverter do you think it would not run? I was hoping it would throttle the charging current appropriately to the source it is connected to.
 

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If I try to run the lvl 1 charger with a smaller inverter do you think it would not run? I was hoping it would throttle the charging current appropriately to the source it is connected to.
It will instantly shut off and show the overload light whenever you exceed the rated power draw of the inverter. No throttle. There are some smart chargers like my goplug that you can change the charge rate to any number, but it won't go as low as 300 watts, I would have to check the lowest setting. Edit: OK I got out the owners manual for the goplug and the lowest setting is 10A, same as the stock charger = 1200 watts. Add some for losses you would need at least 1500 watts of solar panels to avoid having to stop and start the charger everytime it drains the battery even with the large Yeti I linked. This is why I went with 2100 watts of panels, which on mine is a 16'x10' array.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It will instantly shut off and show the overload light whenever you exceed the rated power draw of the inverter. No throttle. There are some smart chargers like my goplug that you can change the charge rate to any number, but it won't go as low as 300 watts, I would have to check the lowest setting.

If you have a chance would you mind terribly?

That would be perfect for what I am thinking. I have no issue putting a small battery in the system but I don't want to charge from the battery other than in the case of a passing cloud. I would like the PV array to be providing as much of what I am charging with as possible and I don't want to drain the battery. A practical array on the roof or foldable panels that i deploy wouldn't be much more than 500W I should think.

I love that trailer but its too big for what I am hoping to do :)

I do already have a large PV array at home that I will be adding to, but it just seems like I should be able to get SOME power into the batteries parked in full sun all day - you know what I mean :)
 

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If you have a chance would you mind terribly?
I did, see my edit above. You would need at least 1500w of PV to avoid draining the battery on the inverter. I have not seen any smart EVSE that can go < 10 amps.
 

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You will need custom EVSE that is capable to be set with various current settings....but 500 W will be to low.And any cloud will trigger errors on ID4....It is possible but what you think is going to be cheap solution....it may finish being quite expensive and sophisticated experiment
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This one claims to go down to 6 Amps. With some losses assumed I would need almost a 1 kW array and a battery with a 1kW-ish inverter. Set to 6A I would be at 720W draw.

MAYBE, but 1kW array is a lot of foldable panels or 2 pretty expensive full size panels...so close.

 

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After reading this thread I get the impression that your dream is harder to put into practice than it is worth when done. The DC-AC-AC-DC chain is inherently inefficient, and the limitations/expectations imposed by the J1772 AC-AC part in there are tough to get around.
 

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The efficiency of the inverters has improved to be very good even on these small portable units, around 90%, and probably 90% on the stock EVSE. If you get a LiFePo4 unit (not the Jackery), don't worry about daily cycling, they are good for 10 years of deep cycle every day and by then we will have something better ;) Here is what I recommend least cost for your idea, it would be enough with the stock charger (no need for the lower amps) and it would run your EVSE for 1.5 hours at 1200 watts and then shut off if you have only 400 watts of PV, and then be recharging its battery for the rest of the day and be ready charged to do it again the next day. The only trick would be avoiding it repeatedly turning on and off as it gets low voltage cut-off, then hits the re-start voltage. That may be a setting. There are many competing brands, but you would need specs meeting at least this one, and I like the stands on the folding PV they have. It still may not be good if you get wind like we do here unless you come up with some good mounting set up:
This set up costs about $3000 to get $0.20 worth of power per day, but you don't want to hear that. Edit: my Dad bought a system almost like this for "Disaster preparedness" and then never used it but he sure is prepped. At least you would have another almost daily use.
 

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I can't observe any instances of ID4 proprietors doing this or datasheets that educate me anything concerning the min contribution to the level 1 charger. Everything on Youtube is a BIG battery bank in the storage compartment or charging direct to the battery or covering a leaf in boards, or something way more obtrusive than I talk about. I need a minuscule off network framework to throw a couple of free miles in while it sits in a splendid bright parking area
 

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I can't observe any instances of ID4 proprietors doing this or datasheets that educate me anything concerning the min contribution to the level 1 charger. Everything on Youtube is a BIG battery bank in the storage compartment or charging direct to the battery or covering a leaf in boards, or something way more obtrusive than I talk about. I need a minuscule off network framework to throw a couple of free miles in while it sits in a splendid bright parking area
Don鈥檛 forget having a panel on the roof of the car will have a big impact on range. Now as you鈥檝e figured even super-slow L1 charging takes a lot of panel area, if the sun is shining, and if the car is correctly oriented, don鈥檛 forget that horizontal isn鈥檛 the correct orientation.

I like the trailer idea. You could couple a few trailers together and put 8-12kW of panels on there with some LiFePO4 batteries. It鈥檇 be a really good exercise in proving what is actually required to make solar and BEVs work and why it is a dumb idea.
 

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It鈥檇 be a really good exercise in proving what is actually required to make solar and BEVs work and why it is a dumb idea.
I did the exercise and proved how it can work great with my trailer, I don't need more than that. It adds 40 miles of range per day, that is 15,000 miles a year. That is far more miles than I need to keep my car charged year round, so why is that a dumb idea? It cost slightly more per watt to build than my big grid tied solar on my house, but the advantage is not ever needing the grid and not needing all the proper roof area and slope, permits, inspections and home modifications for grid tied solar. And I can take it anywhere like camping, and have backup power at home for our grid outages that are getting more frequent every year.

I guarantee anywhere I take that trailer behind my ID.4 it will generate a lot of interest in solar PV and EVs. Better than a billboard to sell solar and EVs. Too bad I retired and don't sell solar anymore.

I think what is dumb is the belief that some car makers portray that the 400 watts of solar (4'x7' with the most efficient panels you can buy - bluetti I linked above) you can fit mounted on top of your car can provide more than 2 kwh or 7 miles of range per day. Even that small amount may be enough for some people.
 
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I did the exercise and proved how it can work great with my trailer, I don't need more than that. It adds 40 miles of range per day, that is 15,000 miles a year. That is far more miles than I need to keep my car charged year round, so why is that a dumb idea? It cost slightly more per watt to build than my big grid tied solar on my house, but the advantage is not ever needing the grid and not needing all the proper roof area and slope, permits, inspections and home modifications for grid tied solar. And I can take it anywhere like camping, and have backup power at home for our grid outages that are getting more frequent every year.

I guarantee anywhere I take that trailer behind my ID.4 it will generate a lot of interest in solar PV and EVs. Better than a billboard to sell solar and EVs. Too bad I retired and don't sell solar anymore.

I think what is dumb is the belief that some car makers portray that the 400 watts of solar (4'x7' with the most efficient panels you can buy - bluetti I linked above) you can fit mounted on top of your car can provide more than 2 kwh or 7 miles of range per day. Even that small amount may be enough for some people.
I鈥檇 bet good money it doesn鈥檛 add 15,000 miles a year. That is absolute nonsense (unless you live somewhere that never sees a cloud!). You may well add 20-30 miles on the very sunniest midwinter days.

The 5kWp solar array on the roof of my house generated 40kWh in the month of December. That is c. 120miles in the whole month.
 

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We are very sunny here, among the best in the world. You are very cloudy there, among the worst in the world. I get 45kwh per day this time of year on my house. (shortest days of the year) So my 8250w solar exceeds your monthly generation every sunny day! I have had solar systems going back 40 years, and my numbers are based on average of what this size and design of system generates here. I can link you to my solar system output graphs for the last 8 years if you like.

Edit: I have had my PV trailer for over a year now waiting for my ID.4, using it for extra heat and cooling in my house. It keeps track of its total output as well and is producing 10kwh per day on these short days (=35 miles per day at the typical 3.5 mi/kwh), but its not posted online like my grid tied array. This about matches my efficiency (kwh produced per watt of PV) of my large array. In other words its 1/4 the size (2100/8250w) and 1/4 the daily output (10/45kwh).

You did not answer my question of why you think its a dumb idea?
 

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Here is a typical sunny day here from last week, where I generated 49.05 kwh:
Ecoregion Rectangle Leaf Slope Organism
 

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This was Thursday. 5kWp array, perfect cloudless sky. 6.1kWh
Plant Rectangle Water Slope Terrestrial plant
 

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That is bad performance for a sunny day. What is your array tilt and orientation, and your latitude? ( key variables, mine is 45 degree up from horizontal, due south, 40.5 degree latitude) That doesn't mean solar is a dumb idea for the rest of the world!
 
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It looks like we get 5-6x the solar on an annual average of what you do in UK.
 

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Don鈥檛 forget having a panel on the roof of the car will have a big impact on range. Now as you鈥檝e figured even super-slow L1 charging takes a lot of panel area, if the sun is shining, and if the car is correctly oriented, don鈥檛 forget that horizontal isn鈥檛 the correct orientation.

I like the trailer idea. You could couple a few trailers together and put 8-12kW of panels on there with some LiFePO4 batteries. It鈥檇 be a really good exercise in proving what is actually required to make solar and BEVs work and why it is a dumb idea.
You just gave me a good idea. I have this huge 4" thick perfectly flat rooftop tent up there and I could add solar panels to charge my solar generator to run my electric blanket, etc. I used the car last time to recharge the solar generator but I had to stay with the car almost all day to keep resetting the ID.4 timer, plus I don't want someone driving off or getting in it unlocked. I have 200W suitcase solar panels but they are large and bulky and take up precious cargo room as 3 occupants plus 2 German Shepherds and all of our camping gear is tight enough!

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Plant
 
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