Introduction: Solar Powered Electric Car

After converting 1995 Aspire to electric vehicle ,I decided to go 1 step further. I installed 6 solar panels on garage roof , with batteries and inverter in garage. Car charges during the day and I drive it on after work missions. Works great driving around town (usually only 5-10 mile trips) will go 55 mph. If it is cloudy a few hours charging continues due to batteries in garage.

Step 1: Remove Engine

First step is removal of engine and components, radiator , tailpipe , muffler ,etc

Step 2: Build Racks for Batteries

Using angle and square tubing to build battery racks. Rack at rear and front 3 batteries are suspended between frame members. Five batteries under hood , four in rear. Rear batteries are sealed in plastic container with fan exhausting under vehicle during charging.

Step 3: Install Electric Motor

Mount motor to adapter plate with shaft coupler. Bolt unit to transaxle and either run motor slow (connected to small battery) or turn front wheel , checking for alignment. I also braced motor with angles ,as engine was attached to motor mount originally.

Step 4: Main Wiring

Wiring is next after installing batteries , speed controller , throttle Box ,and contactor . Welding cable is used to connect batteries in series and from contactor to speed controller to motor. Throttle box is connected to cable from gas pedal and wired to speed controller. Ignition switch controls main contactor.

Step 5: More Wiring

Converter to change 72volts to 12volts (to run headlights etc) is mounted and wired to 12 volt car battery. I mounted 12volt vacuum pump (for brakes) in gas tank because it is noisy. 120 volt Battery charger is connected to main battery bank, and mounted in back of car. Volt and ammeter mounted and wired.

Step 6: Solar Panel Setup

Build mounts for solar panels from 1/2" conduit and 2 by 4. Wire 6 panels together inside fused electrical box. Run large gauge wire from box into garage.

Step 7: Garage Set Up

Power from panels flows thru charge controller (keeps batteries from overcharging) to eight 6 volt golf cart batteries . On a clear day 30 amps is available from panels. A 1000 watt inverter is connected to battery bank with large gauge wire. Cars 120 volt charger is connected to inverter.
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Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest

Participated in the
Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest