Alternator Delete / Solar charging battery only - Fuelly Forums
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:37 AM   #1
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Alternator Delete / Solar charging battery only

Have recently become aware of how much the alternator drag affects MPG. I recall it's a 10% MPG loss. Yes?

Has anyone tried deleting their alternator and charging their car battery solely with a solar panel?
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:47 AM   #2
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Can't see this working Doug, you need electric for everything, lights, radio, spark, fans, ecu etc etc. A fully charged battery would only last a few miles without constant charging. If you want better economy, buy a small diesel
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:50 AM   #3
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I think older US spec Priuses have an optional solar roof for that sort of thing. It is something I would have liked, but it didn't take Toyota more than a look at a typical August day in the UK to decide it wasn't really going to power more than the occasional cigarette lighter...


PS - If you want better economy, get a hybrid! I've been looking at Toyota and Ford Hybrid/Diesel comparisons - looks like the hybrids are posting better mpg figures!
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:56 AM   #4
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Out of need, I recently drove about 10 miles without the accessory belt on just the starter battery. I hooked up the charger as soon as I got home.

People have done the alternator delete. A deep cycle 12 volt replaced or was added to the starter battery, and the set up recharged daily. I suggest Ecomodder for more info on this, and any other advanced changes to the car.

A solar battery maintainer could add a tiny bit of juice, and keep the battery discharge a little bit shallower. Which could extend the battery life. Without doing any research, I'd say a solar system robust enough to go without plugging in for a charge is going to be too expensive for the gain though. Then it will add weight, and likely negatively affect aerodynamics.

If the goal is to avoid using grid electricity for whatever reason, charge the car off a solar powered battery bank. You could also use a 12-volt windmill I've seen at a farm supply store for charging the bank. Or put the money for that to a home solar system.

Quote:
I think older US spec Priuses have an optional solar roof for that sort of thing.
The gen 3 had a solar option that was the same as the summer package some luxury makes offered in our Southern markets. The Solar panels just powered the blower to circulate the cabin air as the car sat in the sun. Nice if you didn't like getting into an oven after work.

The upcoming Prius Prime/PHEV will have a solar roof option in Japan and some parts of Europe that could actually add some miles to the EV range. Because of system cost, and decent charging options at home, it won't be coming to North America.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
Out of need, I recently drove about 10 miles without the accessory belt on just the starter battery. I hooked up the charger as soon as I got home.

People have done the alternator delete. A deep cycle 12 volt replaced or was added to the starter battery, and the set up recharged daily. I suggest Ecomodder for more info on this, and any other advanced changes to the car.

A solar battery maintainer could add a tiny bit of juice, and keep the battery discharge a little bit shallower. Which could extend the battery life. Without doing any research, I'd say a solar system robust enough to go without plugging in for a charge is going to be too expensive for the gain though. Then it will add weight, and likely negatively affect aerodynamics.

If the goal is to avoid using grid electricity for whatever reason, charge the car off a solar powered battery bank. You could also use a 12-volt windmill I've seen at a farm supply store for charging the bank. Or put the money for that to a home solar system.

The gen 3 had a solar option that was the same as the summer package some luxury makes offered in our Southern markets. The Solar panels just powered the blower to circulate the cabin air as the car sat in the sun. Nice if you didn't like getting into an oven after work.

The upcoming Prius Prime/PHEV will have a solar roof option in Japan and some parts of Europe that could actually add some miles to the EV range. Because of system cost, and decent charging options at home, it won't be coming to North America.
Ya know, Trollbait, you inspire an interesting thought...

The car starter motor ONLY engages when necessary. Why not the alternator, too?

Why does the alternator have to use a drive belt that constantly places drag on the engine?

In other words, why can the alternator simply mechanically engage ONLY when necessary like the starter motor?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:45 AM   #6
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Well, the alternator is needed far more often than the starter motor; it powers everything electrical, including ignition, while the engine is running. Smart alternators will become the norm on cars. These are more advanced than the dual voltage alternators Honda employed. They try to limit higher output modes to when the car is decelerating, and the added draw won't impact fuel economy as much.

Mild hybrids may become the norm. These replace the starter and alternator with a single unit. Combined with the bigger battery, the hybrid starter generator could pulse and glide between charging and freewheeling.

Many of the traditional belt driven accessories have moved off the belt to gear or electrical driven, or they can, already.
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