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Can the Tesla Model X be powered by Prodengin's Solar-powered Expandable Eco Dwellings (SEEDs)?

Can the Tesla Model X be powered by Prodengin's Solar-powered Expandable Eco Dwellings (SEEDs)?

Hello Tesla experts!

I was just wondering whether the Tesla vehicles with towing options can be be powered through the solar panels on the Prodengin SEED products whilst driving or whether the vehicles such as the Model X have to be stationary to be charged by such products. Any ideas?

I get asked constantly if our line of Products will charge electric vehicles when mobile and it really does depend on the vehicle's charging system. Anyone have any idea from the released information whether non-stationary charging is possible?

Sorry if this question has already been asked elsewhere however I couldn't find any similar topics.

Regards,
Kev K

grant10k | July 23, 2015

Nope.

First and foremost, the car won't move while charging. The Model S doesn't and there's no reason to think the Model X will be any different.

Second, the car takes a lot of juice. Driving 300 miles will take roughly 4 and a half hours, and net you back 15 miles, but that's only if the trailer is weightless and frictionless. I don't know exactly how trailers affect mileage (I mean, negatively, obviously, I just don't know the numbers) but the reduction is bound to be less than what you're getting back, and without a connection to the power grid it would take you a week of sunny days to charge back up again.

If you have to carry the trailer anyway, I can see the benefit though, even if the range you get back is almost negligible.

ir | July 23, 2015

If you work for Prodengin, you should learn the difference between kW and kWh!

http://www.prodengin.com/Product-Info.php
"These facilities and equipment are powered for free from the sun through the solar panels located on the roof which allow up to 8kw of energy production during daylight hours. The energy is then stored in a 10kW battery bank such as a Tesla battery to ensure you never run out of power. When the product is in the compact, mobile form over half of the solar panels are exposed allowing up to 3kW of energy to be produced when travelling."

Battery capacity is rated 10kWh unless you are referring to instantaneous power output.

The other 2 numbers are also suspect: "8kw" (you don't even have the capitalization right!) probably means 8kWh (ie. 80% of the batteries charged per day).

The "3kw" number probably also means 3kWh (30% battery charged while traveling). Which will roughly get a towing Model X about 6 miles more range (assuming 0.5kWh / mile for towing that monster trailer + Model X inefficiency) if you stop and charge from the trailer's battery. Hardly worth it.

As mentioned before, to prevent you from tearing the charger from the wall as you drive off, the car cannot engage drive while plugged in. You would have to hack your car to make it work.

georgehawley.fl.us | July 23, 2015

Actually, I think the car does recharge while moving, if you count regenerative charging.

It is certainly possible to run the car on a combination of battery and solar power, slowing the battery pack discharge rate, but there would have to be a compelling reason to go to that trouble and expense. Maybe making an heroic journey across some vast desert in a BEV?

kevin.kelly | July 23, 2015

Thanks for the info so far guys. Apologies for the errors on our wesite . Yes solar panel power ratings should be expressed as kW not kw and the battery should be expressed by kWh. Again sorry.

I didn't intend to make this a difficult question.

I want to know whether anyone had any info on whether solar panels in general could add any charge to the Model X vehicle's batteries whilst the vehicle was in motion. I understand that this might be negligible charge but every bit counts. I also understand that towing a trailer would decrease the range however if the solar panels are already there and the trailer's batteries are full why not utilise the solar panels to add charge to the tow vehicles batteries...

A device as simple as a switch on the plug could ensure the vehicle doesn't drive off whilst plugged into a charging stations or the internal software/firmware may control this which means an upgrade could allow mobile charging.

Maybe this is a wait and see question. Just any information which Tesla has released would be great for us to consider our options to have a cable that extends to the tow vehicle.

Any information at all on this topic now or in the future would be of great help.

Thanks

grant10k | July 23, 2015

I think it would make the most sense to charge the trailer's battery, and then dump that extra juice into the car later. Carrying around a power generator is such a niche application that I can't imagine that they would make allowances to drive around while plugged in in the unlikely even that you're dragging the power source around with you.

The scenario where you can't make it to your destination, but are saved by the few extra miles you got from the trailer over the last thee hundred seems unlikely. The scenario where you want to charge the car with your trailer because it's just sitting there anyway and 'why the hell not?' seems much more likely.

So, technically, on paper, it's worth it to do (assuming you have to carry around the trailer anyway), it's not worth it enough to actually do. There's a reason why all the token solar panels on cars just run the fan motor instead of charging the main battery.

Remnant | July 25, 2015

A trailer is obviously an awkward manner of recharging your battery. A Metal-Air Range Extender (MARE) is probably the way to charge while driving on longer road trips.

Check: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/7431480-74/battery-aluminum-alcoa...

You keep the MARE on a garage shelf and just load it in the frunk for the 2-3 longer trips you take yearly. Tesla could easily supply the DC connectivity needed for the MARE.

The Al-Air generator is said to provide 1-2k miles of range extension before its Aluminum plates must be replaced. The only procedure required in the meantime, every 300-400 miles, is to swap some 20 gallons of Aluminum hydroxide produced by the generator with 20 gallons of water.

Check: http://chargedevs.com/features/phinergy-ceo-explains-aluminum-air-batter...

kevin.kelly | July 25, 2015

Remnant, I believe you have missed the point of my question and your information does not relate to my question at all nor does it relate specifically to Tesla's Model X.

If an electric vehicle such as the Model X is towing a product (for recreational or businesses purposes) that has between 1-3kW of solar panels exposed to the sun then why waste the potential to add a few extra miles to the trip by not connecting the solar system to the tow vehicle's batteries.

Yes future EV manufacturers can add other additional technologies to get more efficiency however if the potential to generate electricity is available from a trailer being towed for recreational, business or other purposes why not connect the energy generating source to Tesla's Model X batteries...

Hence this leads me back to my original question:

Does anyone have any conclusive facts as to whether the soon to be released Tesla Model X has any capabilities to do non-stationary charging?

If the Model X does not allow non-stationary charging id like to know whether this limitation is due to software, hardware or both and for what purposes (safety, etc.).

We will get the facts eventually. Thanks,

Red Sage ca us | July 25, 2015

By the time there is something about the physical size, shape, and weight of a 5 gallon Gerry can to use as a portable means to refuel an EV, most EVs will have a range of no less than 3,000 miles. Well before that, people will finally realize that it makes no sense whatsoever to tow a trailer full of batteries or an ICE generator behind an EV. The technology will get there, and whenever it does, it will be far sooner than traditional automobile manufacturers will be able to accept.

Tâm | July 25, 2015

@kevin.kelly

As pointed out by @georgehawley.fl.us that Tesla cars can be recharged while in motion.

I got 3 to 6 extra miles stored up in my battery when I go downhill at Tejon Pass, CA.

There is no technical impossibility that you cannot charge a Tesla while it's running.

The only problem is: The engineers prevent you from doing it.

Right now, if you want to do it, you got to go to the charge port.

I imagine that it's controlled both by software and hardware.

From Model S, I can hear a physical solenoid click and the software would determine whether the car is stationary before allowing anything else happening.

Tesla has not provided its service manual for Model X for the public yet. However, the idea is the same.

You can order one for Model S at:

https://service.teslamotors.com/

Good luck!

ir | July 26, 2015

And once again, nobody knows what the Model X can / cannot do because it hasn't been released yet!

From what we know of the Model S, you cannot drive if anything is plugged into the charge port! This is a safety feature that I doubt Tesla would let you bypass.

And for heavens sake! Pay attention to your units! You don't have "between 1-3kW of solar panels"! You have panels that can charge 1 to 3kWh per day of driving. Let's be generous and say there are 12 hours of daylight, that means you can get maybe 0.25kWh of power recovered for driving 1 hour. So you really have something closer to "0.08kW to 0.25kW of solar panels" on this trailer.

That kind of output is less than even a typical wall plug. This is not a common case for Tesla, thus they are not likely to add any new plugs that would let trailers feed power back while driving. You are welcome to run your own wires to power an iPad or electric ice box instead. Taking the load off the 12V battery is another way to save more energy for driving without needing to charge the battery.

ernie | July 26, 2015

Hey @Kev...have the vehicle modified after purchase to install two stationary bicycles [preferably recumbent type] in the back seat attached to a DC generator. Then have the kids and or wife peddle like crazy. If the kids are old enough you will get about 200 watts per hour…maybe. They will still be asking: “are we there yet”…and every half hour: “dad I have to go to the bathroom”. Added benefit, but not range extending. The bikes can be hooked up to iPods which will be drained before the trip. Only way they can game is to peddle. Then they get fit and are more apt to be quiet. In order to not hear the peddle noise, you will have to set up a sound barrier...oops adding more weight but you can subtract out the weight of the seat.

Hold on, what about approved safety belts for bikes...well a couple of years ago Ford came up with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XS2B384u8s. This is beginning to sound worse than I thought.

Product from 2009: http://www.gizmag.com/the-pedal-a-watt-stationary-bike-power-generator-c...

Ankit Mishra | July 26, 2015

Fisker Karma had a solar roof. But it was only able to charge the 12 v battery of the car.The area of panels would be too large to do any significant charging for EV's.

ian t.wa.us | July 26, 2015

ernie, Bicycles are only "peddled" by those trying to sell them. Everyone else "pedals" them. ;-)

ernie | July 26, 2015

@ian t.etc...I bow to your editing prowess and thank you for the jolt which will ensure I WILL NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good catch. And I am spending the day editing 40+ web pages.... Yikes, my credibility is eroded! I hope the recipient of my 'SUGGESTIONS' does not frequent this forum!

vandacca | July 27, 2015

Ian, are you channeling Brian H? Where the hell is Brian H??

ian t.wa.us | July 27, 2015

ernie - Ugh. 40 + pages? Have fun!

vandacca - Someone has to! Ha! No, no one can replace Brian H., but as an avid cyclist that one is a "pet peeve". ;-)

kevin.kelly | July 27, 2015

Wow that got out of hand quickly. Bikes... sure

I am glad some people on here take forums seriously...

ir, I would love to know where you learnt about solar technology.

It is interesting how you worked backwards to determine the solar panel sizing for a caravan like product (which is approximately 7 meters long and clearly has solar panels on both sides as well as the roof) is:

80-250W of solar panels (quote: "something closer to "0.08kW to 0.25kW of solar panels" on this trailer.")

That is clever. I cant belive I didnt learn that at university!

So you are saying that a surface area of over 20 square meters can have a maximum of 80-250W of solar panels???

FYI a 200W solar panel is approximately 1.2 square meters in size.
Hence that is about 160W/m2
So 20m2 x 160W/m2 = 3,200W or 3.2kW
Hence 20m2 worth of space allows for approximately 3kW of solar panels...

Yes the person who compiled the technical information on our website made a mistake of leaving the 'h' off the battery size information. Thanks for picking that up!

Tam, Thank you for your input. It is very much appreciated and the link will be very useful for us!

I have spoken to staff directly at Tesla about Prodengin's products and they are excited to see products that have the potential to charge their EVs in remote areas. The non-stationary charging is yet to be determined however it seems unlikely...

vandacca | July 27, 2015

Hey @kevin.kelly, don't take it personally! This forum is akin to 50 grown men who paid to get stuck in a cabin for 3+ years, waiting for someone to arrive to bring them the keys to set them free. We're all a wee bit antsy, and been feasting on the same recycled information for the last 3+ years. To a newcomer, we may seem a bit crusty, but once we get our keys, we'll be like giggling school boys at the end of June. :)

ir | July 27, 2015

Kevin, I live in the Silicon Valley and am constantly bombarded by / with entrepreneurs like yourself. Sometimes it’s a mundane “Do you think this is a good idea?”, sometimes it’s “I want you to quit your stable job, work for me for free on the promise of making it big… someday…” and on occasion “I’m ready to invest millions on a company, do you think they’re any good?”.

Disaster relief is a noble cause and I wish you the best in acquiring customers and investors.

You of all people should know that perception is critical for any company. The people in this forum are dropping $100K on a car and could very well be your future investors / customers. Most of us will never see a SEED up close before deciding to even take you seriously. So your website will be a critical factor in your success.

Regardless of your “actual” situation, the rest of the world is going to see what you project. What I see, sets off my “smell-o-meter”:

Lots of questionably photoshopped renderings of SEEDS in beaches, refugee camps, etc…
Empty “news” and empty “updates” section
No link to Indiegogo

It doesn’t sound like you’ve built a single solitary SEED. That means you’re peddling vapor right now. It also means you’re pretty much throwing unproven numbers at us.

Did you really build one yet? If so, tow it somewhere and post some real pictures!

How do you know that you’re going to squeeze 3kW and not 0.25kW out of those panels? My conjecture could be just as right as yours (I hope not!). Can it support the weight of those panels? It looks flimsy. With a fresh coating of heavy snow (you did have a picture of a SEED at base camp) will it collapse?

In this line of business, photoshop is cheap. Buy some aluminium, rent some furniture, mock one up and show us a SEED! On a REAL beach or countryside with uneven ground (refugee camps are not built on smooth concrete). Buried in snow (or something approximating snow in Australia).

kW and kWh matter

You have no product! All you’ve got are your words, so they better count!

You entire pitch is on portable SOLAR POWERED shelters. As the Founder / Director / Big Boss of this company and a professional EE, not knowing the difference is terribly embarrassing!

Your employees work for you. They are an extension of YOU! If they succeed it’s to your credit and if they falter it is to failure. No excuses, they goofed on your watch so it is your fault not theirs!

Your website has removed the “10kW battery” reference and added a few “h”s so now you can charge “8kWh of energy production during daylight hours” and “up to 3kWh of energy to be produced when travelling”

I’m going to assume that there are no more errors on that page and that you, as the leader and EE have carefully checked the rest of the statements on that page (right?).

I’ll assume you’re putting your best foot forward and talking about your flagship SEED-7000.

No more excuses about “the person who compiled the technical information”! But apparently a SEED-7000 generates “8kWh of energyonce(sic) expanded”.

If all you have are the words and pictures on that website, they sure as hell better shine! This is amateur hour! Take the time and care for your fledgling company! You don’t need a university degree to use spell check (or to give a care about your company)!

”If an electric vehicle such as the Model X is towing a product (for recreational or businesses purposes) that has between 1-3kW of solar panels exposed to the sun”

Those are your own words too! I hope there are no errors there. That 3kW sounds like its for your SEED-7000, in collapsed travelling mode.

If your panels could output 3kW instantaneous, you only need less than 3 hours to generate 8kWh of power not a whole day! You know elementary school math 3kW x 3 hours = 9kWh which is more than 8kWh (no university degree required). Unless you’re in the Arctic in winter, there’s way more than 3 hours of daylight. That’s fully collapsed too! I bet they could fully charge your batteries in way less time when fully deployed! What am I missing?

If I’ve been driving the whole day (dawn to dusk), why do I only get 3kWh of charge on your so called 3kW panels? Wouldn’t I just need to drive for 1 hour at high noon? What happens if I drive for 2 hours? Why don’t I get more than 3kWh?

How serious are you about these numbers? Vapour product… vapour specs? Are you just changing them every time I poke another hole?

Answer the question confidently and professionally, put my doubts to rest: “Why do you think a 3kW solar array needs to drive all day to charge 3kWh energy instead of 1-2 hours?”

”That is clever. I cant(sic) belive(sic) I didnt(sic) learn that at university!”

(I’ll let Brian H. ask what elementary school you learned to spell)

I sure hope you didn’t learn to add and multiply in university either!

I don’t need a EE degree to know things are not adding up. More importantly your future investors / customers don’t need to be EE or university educated either!

If this “solar stuff” is too complicated for the layperson, how do you expect them to buy into your company / product / vision?

Just take a look at Tesla’s website and the lengths they go through to make “complicated EVs” accessible to the average (well heeled) customer.

Honestly, if it’s something about angle of the sun and stuff, you just need a diagram to explain that.

This ir person really sounds like a jerk

I know you didn’t write that, but I’ll admit I’m part jerk. But I’m not your first, nor last skeptic. I am actually trying to do you a favour. I’m just some bloke on a web forum who found a gaping whole in your marketing strategy and decided to see how far I could pry it open.

The next time, it could be a journalist, wealthy investor or the Red Cross (potentially without a university degree either!) reading your website and deciding not to even both with you.

I don’t need a university degree (I happen to have one in mathematics) to ask tough questions. YOU however need to show that you know what you’re doing, that your figures “add up”, that you can spell and that you can walk on water (seriously, I’m not kidding!). That’s what being a leader / visionary is.

For the sake of your company and its investors! Do a better job at defending and selling your vision! Act like you really run this show and you know what you’re doing! Don’t sink down to name calling and squabbling. Rise above and convince us it is really worth buying and plugging this thing into our Teslas while it’s driving!

If you’re reading this “Silent Partner” / CFO: I sincerely hope your money is not wasted. I hope Kevin did a much better job explaining these complicated EE solar things to you, because he (or indirectly through his staff) is not doing a very good job for the rest of us!

grant10k | July 27, 2015

Christ, Ir, did Kevin run over your puppy or something?

kevin.kelly | July 28, 2015

Now that is what I love to see in forums. Useful information!

You are correct about our content. If you cannot understand it ir then our website is indeed useless and needs some work.

Thank you for your honest feedback! If you have more negative feedback feel free to keep posting or you know how to contact me if you have been through the website. Seems like we need a feedback tab...

I agree completely, Tesla's website is pretty good. I wonder what sort of money, resources and time they have put into it.

Finally creating a good business takes time and there are bumps in the road that slow things down. You will see progress and prototypes soon. No puppies injured here.

kevin.kelly | July 28, 2015

Vadacca, I appreciate that theys guys are waiting for their toys. I will be waiting a while for my Model X. I am very restless just waiting for a test drive in Australia.

kevin.kelly | July 28, 2015

Are these guys waiting on the Model X Vandacca?

vandacca | July 29, 2015

Most of these guys (including myself) are waiting for a Model-X. Personally, I've been waiting for 3.5 years so far, hoping to receive mine in early 2016. It will be close to 4 years of waiting I think before I get my X.

eric.zucker | July 29, 2015

Going back to the topic of charging while in motion... since this seemed to be the essence of the original thread.

I'm currently working on an inductive power transfer system in a Swiss company. We currently transfer 120+ kW (no typo here, and yes one hundred and twenty plus kilowatts) with nearly 95% efficiency through a 18cm gap. We can go higher.

In theory - and I mean exactly that - some people are thinking of "active power" roads where the car would pick up energy while moving. This would require huge infrastructure investments, but might someday be justified in some areas if enough manufacturers adopt a common standard for wireless power transfer and a sufficient number of vehicles are equipped. It will come someday.

Some road sections may make more sense than others - areas of frequent congestion, high wind, or steep inclines.

Imagine electric or hybrid cars and trucks not burning fuel on highways, just coasting on electric power from the road, even charging up. It just takes a solar panel roof over the entire highway section, charge up underground supercapacitors, and beam the power to compatible vehicle when they enter the section. After all, if a 90kWh battery gives a Tesla a range of 270 miles, that corresponds to 0.33kWh per mile, or 20kWh per hour. Today I'd need 1/6th of the highway equipped to keep you coasting indefinitely, like one out of every 6th mile.

Stop dreaming, it won't happen tomorrow... the technology exists, the economic model not yet.

So going back to the original topic, yes there is a technically viable justification to be able to charge while in motion.