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Solar roof

Solar roof

Wonder if anyone at Tesla has ever considered this? We have a very old "pop top" type "hippie bus" which is being fitted with a solar roof, which we are told will be able to run all of the appliances and other items through an inverter and a number of old style golf cart batteries.

The above is of course pretty backwards, dated technology, home made by ourselves for the most part, but it will save a lot of carbon emissions as we no longer need to run stuff on propane or charge from the grid.

Why not cover the roof of the Tesla Model 3 in a large solar cell and charge on the go?

(I have a model 3 on order and would love to see this revision - thinking also the glass roof will increase the amount of air conditioning required, which in turn increases the amount of battery use).

Chris

slasher0016 | 23 juin 2016

This has been discussed ad nauseum and it's just not practical because the amount of energy generated is minuscule and actually net-negative after you factor in the added weight. In a perfect scenario where they were angled 100% properly and in the sun all day, you'd add a couple miles of range (or maybe lightly power some appliances in your example.) But then again there's no way to get the power out of the car, only put it in, so that's not going to work anyways.

vp09 | 23 juin 2016

I agree, Slasher, but I'd like to see a token effort in the direction Christopher proposes. Just a 5 watt panel or 3 somewhere. People ask me why the car doesn't have solar panels on it, so if it did, just a token number, maybe that would make a good sales feature.

Tiebreaker | 23 juin 2016

vp, so will tail fins.

yongliangzhu68 | 23 juin 2016

.....but what about wind turbines to produce more energy that the car uses? Also I have an idea for a battery that will hold 5x the energy per volume, weighs ½ as much and can charge fully from 0% to 100% in <5 minutes and is good for 10,000 cycles.

Red Sage ca us | 23 juin 2016

Laser mirror focused automatic solar tracking ultra mega hyper lightweight canopy material composed of Kryptonian skin cells with 500% efficient solar activity combined with a 99.999999% efficient drivetrain in a vehicle that gets 22 miles per kWh... Yeah. That should do the trick.

JeffreyR | 25 juin 2016

Maybe a fuel-based range extender too!?!

Remnant | 26 juin 2016

@ JeffreyR (June 25, 2016)

<< ... fuel-based range extender ... >>

Any range extender, by definition, provides energy and that must come from some sort of energy-rich thing, a "fuel".

Hence, any range extender is fuel-based, by definition.

Your statement then becomes "an energy provider based on provision of energy" which is a mere transliteration of a term, plus the adverb "too".

WTF?! ..........

Remnant | 26 juin 2016

@ Red Sage ca us (June 23, 2016)

<< Laser mirror focused automatic solar tracking ultra mega hyper lightweight canopy material composed of Kryptonian skin cells with 500% efficient solar activity combined with a 99.999999% efficient drivetrain in a vehicle that gets 22 miles per kWh... Yeah. >>

Word salad?!

Why not? Just like the OP. Flag it!

Drdpharris | 26 juin 2016

@Remnant ... I had detected sarcasm in recent posts ... ie not to be taken seriously. Zero-point energy all the way. (Not)

andy.connor.e | 29 juin 2016

This car should have solar panels on the roof, front hood, and the top of the rear trunk. Every square inch of the top of the car should be fitted with solar panels to maximize the free solar energy we are blasted with every single day. This would also decrease the energy demand to charge them. Imagine 2 billion cars on the road that require a 6.6kW charger to charge it. Massive electrical energy demand.

dave.m.mcdonough | 29 juin 2016

Because the math doesn't add up. The current PV efficiency combined with the 2 sq. meters of panels you'd be able to fit equates to 5-10mi charge from a full 8 hours of ideal sunlight.
It makes more sense for the camper because there's more roof area, and the energy it takes to drive 10 miles can run the refrigerator for DAYS.
If this were Oregon Trail and it was acceptable to spend over a week charging after every 300mi then it would make sense. If this were a boat or some other weekend toy then it would make sense. If the purpose of it was to prevent battery depletion from long-term parking then it would make sense. And of course, if PV efficiency goes up by 30% or so (more than double) it would make sense. But this is the reality, that the panels are too expensive and too weak to support such a goal. It's not a silly idea, and it WOULD get you a few free miles every day, but it just isn't worth the trouble right now.

dave.m.mcdonough | 29 juin 2016

LOL, The Fisker concept of this (from one of the searched links) estimated 5 mile charge in a WEEK.

Bill Korea | 29 juin 2016

Polish the roads to a mirror finish, and then you can put solar panels under the vehicles. What great ideas.

dd.micsol | 29 juin 2016

battery chargers in the roadways-as as you drive you're getting charged via the road charger. Or just put them in the shoulders of the roads-this way you can pull off the road when you're out of juice and charge up to get to your next destination.

Red Sage ca us | 29 juin 2016

dd.micsol: +1! You could also install hydroelectric Escher Watermills alongside all roadways to power Superchargers the world over!

topher | 29 juin 2016

"This would also decrease the energy demand to charge them. "

No, of course it wouldn't. The cars still needs the same energy per mile. It would just move some of that supply from well sited, optimally tilted, clear viewed solar panels, to mostly badly sited, badly tilted, and potentially shaded panels.

Solar PV panels have a cost in money, and environmental damage. It is incumbent on us to make sure they are placed to produce as much energy as possible. Putting them on cars does not do that.

Thank you kindly.

Rocky_H | 29 juin 2016

@topher +1
Yes, it's best to generate your solar energy really well there, and then use it really well here. Trying to mash them together compromises both.

EaglesPDX | 29 juin 2016

Had the solar roof on the Prius and loved it. It ran a fan when car went over 72 deg (?) and kept the car at ambient temp which was nice. Like the Tesla, a lot of glass on the Prius.

The new Prius Prime, Toyota upgraded the solar roof for more power (about 1kWh) and allowed it to charge the car. Toyota says about 10% on a sunny day, about 2 miles of power. Tesla should definitely have a solar roof even if it's only 60 miles of power a month. It could offset auto heating and auto cooling before getting in the car and could, like the Prius, be used to keep the car at ambient temp which worked well.

It would seem to be in Tesla's DNA to have a solar roof but Tesla doesn't do it.

EaglesPDX | 29 juin 2016

Toyota removed it from US Prius Prime over safety issues with the PV panel glass not being shatter proof so that may be the real reason Tesla never got into it.

sp_tesla | 29 juin 2016

"EaglesPDX | June 29, 2016
Toyota removed it from US Prius Prime over safety issues with the PV panel glass not being shatter proof so that may be the real reason Tesla never got into it."

Make sense, good to know.

TeslaTap.com | 30 juin 2016

It's easy to see the Toyota Prius Prime get's a 10% charge when the battery is only 8.8kW. For a 90 kW battery that means less than a 1% charge. You also give up the sunroof, add considerable cost, and can no longer park in garages or under trees (if you want the free solar power). You might also need to move to the equator to get the maximum power.

Rocky_H | 30 juin 2016

Rather than charging up the main battery for driving, I do think it might be a worthwhile use feeding the 12V battery some, so it goes through less cycles, doesn't discharge as deeply, and hopefully lasts longer.

JeffreyR | 30 juin 2016

@Remnant I was thinking more of this definition:

fu·el
ˈfyo͞o(ə)l/
noun
1. material such as coal, gas, or oil that is burned to produce heat or power.
synonyms: gas, gasoline, diesel, petroleum, propane;

EaglesPDX | 30 juin 2016

@TeslaTap.com "It's easy to see the Toyota Prius Prime get's a 10% charge when the battery is only 8.8kW."

Tesla would get the same amount of power, 2-3 miles for a sunny day.

@TeslaTap.com "You also give up the sunroof, add considerable cost"

Mine had sun roof and solar panel.

TeslaTap.com | 1 juillet 2016

@EaglesPDX - From the pictures of the Prius Prime, it looks like no sunroof, which would make sense if you're trying to maximize solar panels in the roof. I could not find the cost or power of the new panel. The old panel that only charged the 12v battery the option cost $2000, and was rated at 50 watts. I'd guess the new one might be rated at 100-150 watts or so. On the Tesla that would require 2+ hours at noon to get about 1 mile of range. You may be right that it could get 2-3 miles of range if it was parked in the sun all day.

Here's a shot of the new car, but it failed the US rollover tests. So far there is no timeline if Toyota will make a fix or when it might come to the USA once fixed.