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Would a solar generator power a Tesla?

Physicslawyer

Member
Feb 19, 2020
117
77
NY/PA
I saw this in the Costco ad this morning:

https://www.costco.com/goal-zero-yeti-3000x-+-nomad-200-solar-generator-kit.product.100713509.html

Goal Zero Yeti 3000X + Nomad 200 Solar Generator Kit
  • Yeti 3000X Power Station Is Equipped with a 2000 Watt Inverter
  • 3000 Watt Hour Battery
  • Five Port Options: AC Outlets, USB-A, USB-C, 12V Ports, and High Power Ports (HPP)
  • Includes Nomad 200 Solar Panel That Recharges the Power Station When the Power Is Out

Could something like this power a MY if you wanted to camp off the grid?
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,598
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
Interesting. Am I to assume correctly that you will be depending on the solar panel capability to power your MY? If so, then I say the answer is no. You'll barely get enough energy from the sun to just maintain the loss of energy from the hardware running, and maybe not even that much. If you use that fully charged 3KWh battery to maintain the car, then it sounds like it could work for a few days depending on what you are doing with the car and what else you are using that Yeti for.
 

Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,598
3,493
Sparks NV / GF 1
Interesting. Am I to assume correctly that you will be depending on the solar panel capability to power your MY? If so, then I say the answer is no. You'll barely get enough energy from the sun to just maintain the loss of energy from the hardware running, and maybe not even that much. If you use that fully charged 3KWh battery to maintain the car, then it sounds like it could work for a few days depending on what you are doing with the car and what else you are using that Yeti for.
 

csanders90D

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2016
125
172
San Diego, CA
You might be able to charge your car from it, but Teslas are picky about some generators, and might not like it.

Best case, the Tesla plugs in, charges for the entire 3KWh that this thing has stored, adds somewhere under 12 miles of range, and then the Yeti's battery is drained. The solar panels claim to charge the Yeti's battery in 18-36 hours of sun, so in 2-3 days you could plug your car back in for another 12 miles of range.

Nowhere near enough power here to do much for a Tesla, sorry.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
I was wondering if this could charge the car instead of plugging in.

Goal Zeros are absurdly expensive. An Eco Flow can accomplish the same for ~half the price.

Yes; Both can charge your Tesla but with the most solar you can cram onto that generator you're only going to get ~10 miles/day at most and the internal battery will only give you an additional ~3 miles of range.

ECOFLOW Portable Power Station EFDELTA, UPS Power Supply 1260Wh Battery Pack with 6 1800W (3300W Surge)
 

Physicslawyer

Member
Feb 19, 2020
117
77
NY/PA
Thank you for the replies. No off the grid Tesla charging then! I do still wonder if a solar generator would work as well as a gas generator for an RV, but that will be for another time (hopefully, one that involved a Cybertruck pulling an RV!)
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
Thank you for the replies. No off the grid Tesla charging then! I do still wonder if a solar generator would work as well as a gas generator for an RV, but that will be for another time (hopefully, one that involved a Cybertruck pulling an RV!)

I have a Magnum 4448 I use to charge my Tesla off-grid. Works great. I do think an inverter would be safer than a gas generator. My understanding of one of the easier ways to make the magic smoke escape is under-frequency. Since the frequency of a generator is physically controlled by the speed of the generator is fairly easy to get into an under-frequency situation. With an inverter it would just turn off.
 

ArizonaP85

Member
Apr 6, 2017
269
428
Phoenix
A football field sized for Guinea pigs perhaps... ~3 parking spaces can fit ~10kW of solar.
I applaud people’s efforts to identify alternative energy sources, but I used exaggeration for the purpose of humorously making the point that portable panel technology is not yet viable to carry with you. Friends with them say the production estimates are very optimistic, but let’s go with their peak midday claims:
10 kW would be 50 of the 200 W versions, covering 6.24 parking spaces when open, filling a standard 4 ft x 4 ft pallet 2 1/2 feet tall when folded, weighing over 1,000 lbs and costing $140,000.
To actually meaningfully charge even a Model Y let alone a MX, after accounting for quickly diminishing production away from midday peak, you’d need at least triple that amount. That would be HUGELY impractical, which was the point I tried (and apparently failed) to make the first time.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
I used exaggeration for the purpose of humorously making the point that portable panel technology is not yet viable to carry with you.

I know
people that have made similar comments 100% believing it to be true. That you literally need a ~football field of solar panels to make a dent in your electric bill.

Charging an EV with solar panels isn't exactly convenient but it's not as impossible as you would think.

Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 12.26.41 PM.png
 

ArizonaP85

Member
Apr 6, 2017
269
428
Phoenix
I know people that have made similar comments 100% believing it to be true. That you literally need a ~football field of solar panels to make a dent in your electric bill.

Charging an EV with solar panels isn't exactly convenient but it's not as impossible as you would think.

View attachment 617336
Permanent panels on a home are (currently) much more efficient than portable panels. I think market penetration is deep enough in a lot of places that most folks have seen roofs with far fewer panels than that RV and understand that they produce electricity.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
Permanent panels on a home are (currently) much more efficient than portable panels. I think market penetration is deep enough in a lot of places that most folks have seen roofs with far fewer panels than that RV and understand that they produce electricity.

They understand they produce electricity... just not enough to be meaningful. I've had incredibly depressing conversations with people that think solar is 99% virtue signaling....

I'll never forget a question I got from an engineer at work. A serious question from an adult with an engineering degree. 'What good will 10kW of solar do me if I use 2000kW per month.' He confused kW with kWh.
 
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ArizonaP85

Member
Apr 6, 2017
269
428
Phoenix
I'll never forget a question I got from an engineer at work. A serious question from an adult with an engineering degree. 'What good will 10kW of solar do me if I use 2000kW per month.' He confused kW with kWh.

Please share where you work so we can short their stock. Let’s hope the Peter Principle isn’t practiced at your workplace!
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
Please share where you work so we can short their stock.

Worked. I left. It was too depressing.

URENCO. Please feel free to short anything that smells even remotely of nuclear power ;)

Wasn't an isolated case either. Another co-worker said he'd never considered solar because you 'needed acres to power a house' and at a facilities meeting the facilities manager mentioned they had looked into solar be disregarded it because 'you would need to cover the entire site (1 square mile) to even make a dent in the sites electric usage' ...... both likely confusing kW with kWh/yr ....

URENCO isn't public but Fluor owns NuScale. An energy company where a good chunk of their engineers don't know a kW from a kWh? .... probably a good short :) The entire industry is a good short.

Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 1.18.40 PM.png
 
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Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,608
3,649
Alameda, CA
Permanent panels on a home are (currently) much more efficient than portable panels.
The problem is that your panels stay at home during the day when you take your car out to do stuff. What you really want is to cover your car with panels:

iu
iu

The Aptera can go 10 miles on a single kilowatt of battery power (using lightweight materials and extreme aerodynamics) and comes with solar on every car they sell. You can go full bore like the one above that has 180+ solar cells that generate enough power to go over 40 miles on a single day's solar charge. And that includes while your car is parked at work and even while you are driving. They call it the Never Charge car, but if you need to it can be charged at 13MPH from 120v or faster from 240v and on the road using DCFC.

Can you tell I already put my $100 deposit toward buying one, that CyberTruck is not getting here fast enough.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
8,282
10,952
United States
The problem is that your panels stay at home during the day when you take your car out to do stuff.


I'm ok with that; I
need a battery big enough to drive >200 miles in a go so I don't need solar top offs ~90% of the time. The remaining 10% I need far more energy than even a trailer full of solar panels can provide. I also wouldn't want idle solar panels sitting on my car when my battery is full...
 

Physicslawyer

Member
Feb 19, 2020
117
77
NY/PA
I've been following Aptera for years. It's exciting to see they are getting closer to actually having a production vehicle. Keep in mind, it's classified as a motorcycle. If you don't have a motorcycle license, you will need to get one. Also, the safety standards are vastly different since it isn't classified as a car.
 
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