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I was told by a neighbor with connections at American Honda that initially a solar trickle charger for the batterpack was to be installed on the front windshield. Some very early cars may have a small nib on the front windshield. Does anyone know of a company that offeres this technology? TIA
 

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A very nice and "green" idea. :)

However:

The IMA pack is a 144v NiMH array of industrial "D" cells.

Any trickle charger would be just that, a drop in a bucket.

Except for the most efficient (and expensive) solar cells the surface area needed for a solar panel array to produce any significant amount of current at that voltage would exceed the total area of the car several times over.

Even with the most "performance" designed solar array the amount of electrical energy contributed to the car's propulsion would be minute. Many times the energy equivalent could be saved simply by driving more economically. i.e. slower.

Solar trickle chargers for 12v lead acid batteries have been available for many years now. And can have a beneficial effect for these types of batteries, depending on many specifics of the batteries use.

http://www.northerntool.com

Go to automotive battery chargers and search on solar

I'd say your neighbor is pulling your leg. Tell him you don't believe the solar panel story, but Honda almost put in production a special ribbon power cord that allowed the Insight to operate 100% electric for distances up to a mile and would self retract. Its just that they never could work out the problem of having to drive backwards all the way back home. <VBG>


John K. Bullock
aka. Insightful Trekker
 
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