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Pieced together a solar hood panel kit on Amazon

XraytecH

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GeneralMaximus

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What are you using this for? Do you have a separate battery you are using to store the solar energy? A 100 amp lithium Battleborn will set you back another $1,000
 
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XraytecH

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What are you using this for? Do you have a separate battery you are using to store the solar energy? A 100 amp lithium Battleborn will set you back another $1,000
Just to top off the battery, when I'm parked in the sun.

This is why I ask the hive mind. So you think it's a waste because I need that 100 amp lithium dohickie?
 

antwon412

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There is zero need to top off your battery when parked. That’s why your vehicle has an alternator.

Additionally, $470for a 90w panel is utter ridiculousness. 200w is like 200 bucks.
 

FL Robert

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There is zero need to top off your battery when parked. That’s why your vehicle has an alternator.

Additionally, $470for a 90w panel is utter ridiculousness. 200w is like 200 bucks.
I will kindly disagree completely with that statement. Your vehicle alternator does nothing if your engine (and alternator) is not running. Vehicle batteries can lose voltage just sitting. High heat can speed up that voltage loss. The parasitic drain that is common in almost all vehicles is the most common reason for battery power loss. Jeep traditionally has demonstrated a greater parasitic loss then other vehicle brands. To say that there is, "zero need to top off your battery when parked" is incorrect and grossly misleading.

As for the cost, the above panel is purpose built for the task. You can easily find a rigid polycrystalline panel for less money, however the panel above is purpose built monocrystalline on a shaped fiberglass backboard made to be mounted on the high heat hood.

There are, of course, many drawbacks to this arrangement. It is obviously very low wattage per dollar cost, without airflow under the panel heat from the metal hood in the sun will likely diminish efficiency, etc., however I do believe it would function quite well to overcome the vehicle's FACTORY parasitic drain and maintain a battery in a vehicle left undriven for a long period, provided proper exposure to sufficient sunlight.
 

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I run a smaller Lensun kit, 35w, and it puts out enough to keep my battery charged, even with low current draw that I have. The 50w for the Rubicon hood doesn't work because of the bend in the hood. I had Lensun replace a 50w because the tested output wasn't what it should have been for 50 watts; it was more like 10w. The problem is, as soon as you bend these, they are done. The 35w does not have to be bent to the curvature of the hood and open circuit output is a little under 2.3A on a good sunny day, which is not bad for what it is.

If you go thru with this, I recommend testing output before installing with a multimeter attached directly to the panel leads, use the decal on the hood under the panel, and test output again after install. Get help for the install so you dont let the panel bend or flex.

Jeep Gladiator Pieced together a solar hood panel kit on Amazon 20220908_120805
 
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notquiteflotsam

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uh...seems like a lot for what purpose? To buy a new battery every 3-4 years instead of every 2? That seems like a long payback period to me. Being in SF, I would think your battery doesn't take the heat beating ours does down here.

Does this thing permanently rest on your hood or do you remove it every time? what's it going to do to your paint finish?
 

KrashEd

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uh...seems like a lot for what purpose? To buy a new battery every 3-4 years instead of every 2? That seems like a long payback period to me. Being in SF, I would think your battery doesn't take the heat beating ours does down here.

Does this thing permanently rest on your hood or do you remove it every time? what's it going to do to your paint finish?
Not sure who you're directing this to, but I have it as light duty insurance to help keep things charged when I am out in BFE. I also have auxiliary and redundant power systems to ensure power is not a problem. At a minimum, it keeps the battery charge optimal, regardless of battery MTBF and payback. At the end of the day, I am good with having it for my use case.

I use VHB tape to make sure the panel stays put. A good hood decal protects paint from that tape if I need to remove it, but it's permanently attached otherwise.
 

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uh...seems like a lot for what purpose? To buy a new battery every 3-4 years instead of every 2? That seems like a long payback period to me. Being in SF, I would think your battery doesn't take the heat beating ours does down here.

Does this thing permanently rest on your hood or do you remove it every time? what's it going to do to your paint finish?
It’s on permanently, but is removable. The panel is raised, but you can’t see it with the 3m they use. They supply a vinyl wrap that goes underneath it so it doesn’t touch the paint, except for the 1/2” 3m tape around the border. It’s well thought out. And I don’t see it as being expensive for what it is at all. Panel, charge controller, and I think I spent 300.
 

WILDHOBO

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Not sure who you're directing this to, but I have it as light duty insurance to help keep things charged when I am out in BFE. I also have auxiliary and redundant power systems to ensure power is not a problem. At a minimum, it keeps the battery charge optimal, regardless of battery MTBF and payback. At the end of the day, I am good with having it for my use case.

I use VHB tape to make sure the panel stays put. A good hood decal protects paint from that tape if I need to remove it, but it's permanently attached otherwise.
And as you know having one, it can actually jump start the Jeep in as little as 30 minutes with sun.
 

GeneralMaximus

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Just to top off the battery, when I'm parked in the sun.

This is why I ask the hive mind. So you think it's a waste because I need that 100 amp lithium dohickie?
No, the extra 100amp battery would be so you can use that mega solar panel as a solar generator.

For ship battery trickle charging, that set up is way overkill. I use a cheap $22 solar panel on one of my cars that is parked outside for weeks. It does the same thing, keeping the battery topped off.

https://a.co/d/5kd1MS3
 

OldSarge

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Have you considered an option of one of the portable jump starters? I carry one always. They will work your your or someone else's vehicle and they are $100-ish. A solar panel for your use case is a lot of trouble to go to for very little gain IMHO.
 
 



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