[RE-wrenches] Onboard PV Charging Kit for Electric Vehicle

August Goers august at luminalt.com
Wed Oct 5 09:40:03 PDT 2022

I've been happy with Victron charge controller / inverter equipment, they
seem to be very popular in the RV space. Here is a potential 3000 VA
inverter model that might work, other sizes and configurations are
available as well:


Note Victron makes charge controllers as well.

I don't have any experience working with Lithium batteries for this
application type, so don't have any recommendations there. Simpliphi seems
to be popular and might be worth checking out.


On Wed, Oct 5, 2022 at 9:23 AM Corey Shalanski via RE-wrenches <
re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org> wrote:

> For those wondering about the battery pack, it was pulled from a Nissan
> Leaf—nominal voltage is 360 Vdc. So I don't believe it will be possible to
> charge the EV battery directly from the PV (or from the 'off-grid' battery
> bank). It is understood that there will be some not-insignificant
> efficiency losses involved in pumping the electrons between the PV and the
> EV battery.
> Just to clarify, the PV was added mainly to *demonstrate the concept* that
> onboard charging (to a limited degree) is possible. The off-grid battery is
> not meant to be the primary charging source. Once parked, the idea would be
> to get as much juice out of that battery as possible and then just plug in
> to the nearest utility-fired receptacle for the remainder of the charge.
> It has been awhile since I have specced any off-grid components - as in
> before lithium-based batteries took center stage. So I am mainly seeking
> recommendations on which equipment Wrenches would install "on their own
> house" (or on their own PV-powered pickup truck!).
> --
> Corey
> On Wed, Oct 5, 2022 at 2:00 AM <coresolar at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Wrenches,
>> One of my friends converted his 1955 Ford F100 pickup truck into an
>> electric vehicle. He also had a nifty (mechanized) racking assembly
>> installed in the bed that can deploy a fold-out 3-module PV array at the
>> push of a button. If you aren't yet salivating, please see the attached
>> image.
>> He would like to add an 'onboard off-grid' battery + inverter kit that
>> would essentially allow the truck to *plug into itself* (or, more
>> correctly, into the sun). My first question is if anyone has ever attempted
>> anything like this? or knows of a similar project?
>> I'm taking suggestions for your favorite off-grid kit components
>> (make/model)—system specs as follows:
>>    - Inverter: preferably around 3–4 kW output rating, can be either 120
>>    or 120/240 Vac output since the EV charger is rated for both
>>    - Batteries: we're thinking LFP for the chemistry, around 3–4 kWh @
>>    80% DOD, bank voltage would depend on inverter model (or the other way
>>    around, if you prefer)
>>    - Charge Controller: wiring the modules in series would give 900 W /
>>    118 Voc / 10 A Isc
>>    - Battery SOC Meter: ideally can be mounted on dashboard
>> Thanks in advance for any electrifying ideas the group can offer!
>> --
>> Corey Shalanski
>> Jah Light Solar
>> Portland, Jamaica
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