Monday, June 11, 2012

Solar Carport and EV Charging

Yesterday I picked up my building permit for an additional solar array at my house.  My goal is 3-fold:

- Generate the remaining 15% of my house's power needs that I'm currently buying from PG&E
- Generate sufficient power to charge the 914 through a J1772 charging station
- Park the cars under a carport to block the direct sun and scorching summer heat

I bought the electrical parts for my system from my sister company AEE Solar and the carport from Protective Weather Structures in December of last year.  I've got a SnapNRack mounting system, 16 REC Group 240PE modules, a Schneider Conext 3300 inverter (which I will pull the data from and display in conjunction with my original Xantrex inverter), and a Schneider J1772 electric vehicle charging station.

A friend at work did my solar design and ran the calcs for my rebate application, and I worked with PWS's structural engineer on the final details of the carport structure.

Now that I have my permit, I can give PWS the green light to start fabrication of the metal, I'll call 811 to get them to mark any underground electrical services and I can start digging holes.

Here is a rough SketchUp model I made of the system.  The only SketchUp model I could find of a 914 was only half completed, so that's why it looks like it's missing most of the right side of the car.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Solar Charged Driving

The car is complete!  Well, there will always be a few things to work on, but as soon as I sign a collector-car declared-value insurance policy, I'll feel free to jump into the car and hit the open road.  Well, as long as the road isn't too long.  I took a bunch of pictures of the car next to my solar array, looking for the best glamour shot to have new project cards printed up.  I just wish I didn't have the white storage container in the background.  Anybody with good Photoshop skills want to take it out for me?

I've been a fan of Christof Demont-Heinrich's site since it launched, and I've been itching to post about my solar-charged electric car project for a long time now.  I've sent Christof a note now that I'm done and I hope that we can work on an article.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

San Luis Obispo Concours

We had a great car show on June 3, 2012 down the road a bit in San Luis Obispo.  It was held on the grounds of the Madonna Inn.

First thing to hit my eye was this staggeringly beautiful Mercedes 300SL gull wing.

And the modern Mercedes SLS AMG gull wing, a 12 cylinder, 6.2 liter monster.

This Carrera GT is owned by a local Porsche club member and is popular at every car show in the area.

This is my first Ferrari Enzo.  Just brutally fast looking, like it's murdering the air flowing around it.

Ferrari row.

There was a row of refreshment tents, including this Space Shuttle-shaped rolling diner.

Another first for me, and the world, is this Fisker Karma.  I had a great talk with the rep about the details of the car and electric cars in general.  I gave him one of my project cards, so perhaps he's reading this now!

Beautiful from every angle.  Henrik Fisker was a designer at Ford, BMW and Aston Martin, then branched out into his own design and coachbuilding company.

150 watts of solar on the roof.

 This is the new 2012 Porsche Carrera 911, code name 991.

You can tell by the skinny tail lights.

The price sticker however is not very skinny.  This is the S version, but $126K, really?

Final Weight

I took the car to the scale at our local landfill and got the final build weight.  She came in at a svelte 3380 pounds.  Alert readers will remember the previous post saying that the car rolled out of the factory at 2139 pounds and EA estimated it would end up at 3300 pounds, so they weren't far off.

This means the car is a net 1241 pounds heavier, which is 58% more than the engineers in Stuttgart intended.  Clearly the upgraded shocks, springs and struts were needed!