Last post on Jan 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM
You are in the Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Saturn VUE, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), SUV
#75 of 84 Re: [tackepj]
Nov 21, 2008 (5:06 am)
That was a very good and informative post!
#76 of 84 Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions?????
Nov 24, 2008 (12:01 pm)
This is an email I sent to Saturn:
This is a technical question for someone working with Saturn's Hybrid Vehicles.
I currently own a 2007 Saturn Vue GreenLine. Great gas mileage. 26-28 mpg in my 26 mpg roundtrip commute.
There are currently solar chargers available on the retail market (2-5W) that can be plugged in to cigarette lighters to keep automobile batteries charged. Very inexpensive. $20-30. I was thinking of using one of these when my Vue GreenLine is parked to assist in keeping the battery pack fully charged, and therefore fully available for use in the assist mode.
I have used small portable panels to charge 12v car batteries that I use for powering 12v astronomy equipment during the day (for night time use when I am in the field). They work reasonably well. In other words, they actually do help charge a free-standing car battery during a 8-10 hr day.
1. Would one of these panels work with my Vue GreenLine to charge the existing battery pack during the day?
2. Is the Vue GreenLine electical system compatable for this type of charging?
#77 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
by pf_flyer HOST
Nov 24, 2008 (12:06 pm)
Isn't the cigarette lighter operated off of the 12V battery and separate from the hybrid battery pack? Just my first impression, but I don't think you'd be able to send any charge to the hybrid battery pack through the cigarette lighter.
#78 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [pf_flyer]
Nov 24, 2008 (12:25 pm)
It is a question of how the GreenLine is wired
I don't have the schematics, so I dont know. I don't know where and how the voltage is regulated in the GreenLine.
If current runs to the cigarette lighter when the vehicle is off (eg.cell phone charger) it may work.
Some Prius owners are now using solar panels to help their batteries charge, even if it is limited. Again, I don't kow if they are hardwiring of if it is through the cigarette lighter.
#79 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
by pf_flyer HOST
Nov 24, 2008 (12:39 pm)
Certainly it possible to solar charge batteries, but even if there is some physical connection between the hybrid battry system and the cigarette lighter, which I kind of doubt, you'd still have to go backwards through a voltage regulator. Just not sure if they have it set up to do so or not. Sounds more like a hard-wired modification that some Prius owners are using.
There's an interesting video on plug in hybrids on CarSpace
#80 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [pf_flyer]
Nov 24, 2008 (2:01 pm)
Oops, forgot to mention the GreenLine doesnt have a 12v battery. Just the battery pack.
#81 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
Nov 24, 2008 (6:53 pm)
Yes this is a good and cheap and easy way to use less gas, I have one for my 12v battery (yes the Vue has a 12v battery system). It helps get 2 mpg and better per tank. In fact I also am happy with it I am putting together a 36v solar charger for the Hybrid system.
Just be sure you get the ones with the built-in diodes (to prevent back voltages) my Saturn dealer took 2 hrs checking mine to make sure it did not cause the 36v battery pack to fail. They did decide it was OK in the end.
A 4 to 5 watt one is all you need.
Look at this one: http://www.batterystuff.com/solar-chargers/BSSE6W.html
or look around sometimes you can find them on-sale.
#82 of 84 Interesting....
Nov 25, 2008 (9:57 am)
Where did you place the solar panel? On the dash or do you have it permanently affixed to your roof?
In addition, do you have it connected to your cigarette lighter when the Hybrid Vue is parked or is it connected all the time?
Also, what Saturn Dealership had the knowledge to know if this would work or not? Mine barely knows its way around the Hybrid.
My concerns would be overcharging the battery, shorting the battery life by constantly charging the battery and voiding the electrical warrantee on the Hybrid Vue due to a modification.
According to the website - "Great for use for larger 12 Volt batteries that are seldom used or in storage, such as with antique cars, boats, RVís or cottages." I question, if the Hybrid is used daily - how much is really gained by recharging the battery? I recharge mine by normal driving.
Otherwise, it sounds interesting.
#83 of 84 Re: Interesting.... [hybridvue]
Nov 25, 2008 (7:07 pm)
I simply mounted the 12v one on the dash with a little bit of velcro tape to hold it in place.
It is connected to cigarette lighter through a radio shack 1 to 3 splitter http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062276&cp=&sr=1&kw=12+vol- t+3&origkw=12+volt+3&parentPage=search
so I can charge my cell phone and GPS or one at a time with the panel unplugged from the lighter.
I leave it plugged in most all the time, at 5 watts it does not have enough power to over charge the 12v battery.
Yes my 12v battery also charges during "normal driving" using the 12v alternator (belt driven from the gas engine) but I had this solar panel that I used for my tractor since it would set for weeks between uses (never damaged it's battery), then I moved and sold the tractor (without the solar charger) and one day plugged it in my hybrid to see what would happen. After 12 tanks of gas I noticed it was getting +2mpg so I unplugged it and it went back down to the same MPG I would usually get about 28mpg. I guess that using the alternator less helps the gas mpg.
Saturn did not help at all with setting up the 12v charger and wanted to charge me for the hybrid cells when they failed, I had to point out to them that the 12v and 36v system were totally separate. They never said anything about "voiding the warranty".
Once I get the 36v system setup it should get even better MPG.
The 36v system will be roof mounted and I will use a Charge Controller to not damage the saturn hybrid pack if I do continue to use it. I am also looking to replace it (last one lasted just 30,000 miles) I would rather use some good gel cells over the ones that saturn used. I am also looking at a 110 charger for the 36v system at some point, I have just been too busy right now to mess with it all.
But with the wife out of the hospital now I may get busy...
#84 of 84 Re: Interesting.... [greenroger]
Jan 12, 2009 (3:47 pm)
"charge me for the hybrid cells when they failed,"
Wait a minute, are you saying that your hybrid traction battery failed?