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How much would it cost? Could a body shop do this?? If the battery was empty, the car was parked outside for a full day, how full would it fill the battery if you were to guess?? :)
 

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I don't know as I have seen this proposal specifically. Although it is a novel idea. I doubt a body shop would touch solar cells with a 10 foot (fiberglass) pole :lol: This would probably be a home-grown project involving you, a soldering iron, a couple hundred solar cells, and a tube of silicone adhesive....and a nice farewell party for your pretty paint.

As for real world numbers...

http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar/solar_time_2000.html

Two new thin-film solar modules developed by BP Solarex break previous performance records. The company's 0.5-square-meter module has a 10.8% conversion efficiency—the highest in the world for similar thin-film modules. Its 0.9-square-meter module achieves 10.6% efficiency and a power output of 91.5 watts—the highest in the world for a thin-film module.
So you are looking at about 100 watts per square meter (I'll bet they're not cheap though!!)...but if you covered the hood, roof and made a solar screen for the windshield and back hatch (glancing at the "insight encyclopedia") it looks like you may have about 3 square meters of useable space.

So, under full sun, you can rake in about .3 KW per hour...the insight battery is rated at slightly under 1KWh capacity...so this is starting to become a somewhat realistc scheme of fully charging the battery in 3-4 hours (around noon time on a sunny day)

Of course you always loose some power in converters, plus the cells under the glass aren't going to be as efficient as the ones in the open, but you could still have a good chance to "drive it like you stole it" to work and arrive with a dead battery, park in a sunny parking lot and have a fully charged battery by the time you went home.
 
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Hi All:

___Even with 50% conversion efficiency, charging the pack is about enough to drive an Insight in all EV mode (after you run a 2000 out of gas) for about a mile. Sure you could drive her like you stole it for a few miles but why would you want to? PV’s on an automobile actually appear to me to be pretty worthless. Other then trickle charging ala VW’s New Beetle and other auto’s via solar charger for the windscreen.

Mismatch Boosts Solar Efficiency
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California, and MIT have engineered a single material that contains three bandgaps and is capable of capturing more than 50 percent of the sun's energy. The researchers made the material by forcing oxygen into a zinc-manganese-tellurium crystal. The oxygen split the crystal's band gap and formed a third one of its own.

The material could lead to relatively inexpensive, highly efficient solar cells that would be much simpler to make than today's high-end multijunction solar cells.
___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1gnzntez][email protected][/email:1gnzntez]
 

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I would think that if one were to modify the ECM to be more aggressive with the IMA use, then you could get away with using less ICE, and thus less gas. Of course, you would deplete the battery, but if you were charging it with a solar panel, that might not be an issue. (Except for the decrease in battery life attributed to cycling the batteries more)
 

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Body shops will not do this. If you live in florida I could help you out with this. I have has a lot of expierience with solar, and have done many expieramental projects. The panels you would want would run you about $300 a panel. Maybe 3 panels. roughly close to $1000.Of course if you want to cover the hood, and roof it will be a lot more. Depending on panels used.

Powering/Charging- Depends on how bright it is out. Of course if you live in florida and its clear about 98 Degrees, and you have about 12 panels then you could charge in about 1 hour. 1 of my panels is 0.6096 m or 2 ft. long, and close to a foot wide.

You will however need to take care of the panels, not just get them put on, and leave them. They will get worn out fast without proper care.

I was thinking about doing this about a year ago. But I was set back because of the hail we get here, and would end up being a waste of money in the long run.
 
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