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Solar Panel to Recharge Hybrid batteries?

  1. Nov 11, 2007 #1
    Solar Panel to Recharge Hybrid batteries???

    I'm considering buying a hybrid vehicle (Ford Escape) and wanted to get the forum thoughts on an idea I have had bouncing around in the old nogen for a awhile now.

    What type of effeciency gain could I pick up over a typical Houston year (very hot here most of the time, lots of suntime!) by using the below streched accross my windshield on the Hybrid while parked. I'm in sales so my parked time is not as great as some but I would say a good average would be 3-4 hours per day.

    If my intial calcs are right I think I might be able to recharge the hybrid battery enough to pay for panel in a few years thru fuels savings derived from higher battery use and less engine. Thoughts??

    Solar panel link below.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2007 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Is the Escape a plug-in hybrid? If not, how would you get the jiuce from the panels into the battery without voiding your waranty?

    I see the mat is about $1,000.00 US; and produces a max of 55 Watts. I don't know the Escape's milage when in all-electric mode, but the Tessla gets about 110 wh/km, so about 160wh/mi. With gas at 3.50/gal, and the average vehicle getting 25 mi/gal, you would need about 7500mi worth of electricity to make up your $1,000 initial investment. According to my arithmentic, that comes to about 1.1 KillowattWatt-Hours. At 50 Whr/hr, that would mean you'll need the solar panel to produce at its maximum capacity for about 20,750 hrs. At 2-3 hrs/day, that would happen in 7000 days. Accounting for cloudy days, less-than-perfect parking angles, less-than-optimum performance of the solar cell, and the Escape getting less miles per Watt-hour than a Tessla, you're lookin' at regaining your cost in about twenty years.

    Might be worth it.

    BTW; when I started researching these numbers, I was certain I would find out that it takes 200 years or something.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
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