How'd your electrical experiments go? I want to do this too. First I want to properly record the amount of amps (and therefore watts) each system is drawing. Then maybe lower this with LED lights and maybe try to offset with some solar.
I really hate those 1/4 watt, battery tenders though, they're really pricey for what you're getting. I don't mind finding a cheap solar panel on ebay or elsewhere and really want to give peltiers a try, but I'm stuck on what to use as a charge controller. I guess keeping voltage near 14v makes sense even without an alternator, so is there maybe a dual purpose system like that, hook a battery or two (for range) to it and also any electric generation, like solar, and it'll always put out 14v and recharge only when needed, etc? Or plans to build one (more preferable).
My worry with the LEDs is when I'm in DFCO, I want to build them expecting an exact voltage, the 14v thing might do that. I think I'll also need a 555 for when running lights are on to 'dim' my brake lights (same bulb/socket) and have to make my own blinker units. I don't have time to trace and rewire my car ...
Just found this thread and wanted to give you all an update...
The high Louisiana heat forced me to put the alternator cabling back on to power my air conditioner. I am also facing problems with my tires being to tall and causing my MPG to never get high because I have to sping 50Lbs worth of rims. I am trying to find some better rims for my Jeep TJ that are lighter.
If you have a 1988 or later Honda, the alternator is already pulse-width-modulated. In essence it only puts as much drag on your crank as is necessary to keep the battery charged. If it's an American car you might see some advantage to doing this. We wont know until you post your honest results.
If your battery voltage drops below about 10 volts the injectors don't work as well and as a workaround the ECU will increase the injector times to try to keep the car running as long as possible. What happens is the air/fuel ratio goes very very rich.
I have read most of this one and think if we combine both Ideas it will work.
1) Alternator that can be switched on and off. Many one wire alternators out there or learn how to turn yours off and on.
2) when brake light is on make the alternator. Use the power robbing alternator only when you are slowing the vehicle. Kinda Like regenerative braking on electric vehicle. Maybe even upgrade to a more powerful alternator so you will charge enough during stops.
I think any plan that involves disconnecting the alternator needs to have LEDs to reduce the vehicle's consumtion of battery power A small solar panel (maybe 1/2 amp?) would also be nice to negate the battery discharge of the brake lights during daytime hours. You can get those 12v solar panels that are supposed to keep the battery topped off relatively cheap.
the solar panels you are talking about are really small (5 watts I think) which really isn't worth the time or money in my opinion. they are really good for RVs that just sit. still I guess every little bit helps
also jay, I like your jay the dry cleaner. it is like joe the plumber but with out the stereotypical butt crack. lol
Be the change you wish to see in the world
Yeah, I should have shown up at that rally with a "I'm Jay the Dry Cleaner" poster, but I'm glad I didn't. For some reason security made you leave all posters at the gate. You weren't allowed to bring your own in.