Phase one of the solar electric bus was an effort to show the potential of an on board solar charger. With a small budget in mind we were able to go between 40-50 miles on a charge and charge the bus in a little over one day in the sun. Locally the bus received enough charge in the summer for a 20 mile run each day. What kept the cost down was using lead acid batteries.
Phase two of the bus will include a 32 KW-hr battery bank of lithium iron phosphate batteries. These cells are not the same as lithium ion. They are about 14% less efficient in performance, but have no thermal runaway issues (safer) and actually have a longer cycle life than lithium ion.
The new Lithium Iron Phosphate bank will more than double the storage capacity of the battery bank. It will also weigh in 500 pounds less than the current lead situation. We are now looking at a 100 mile per charge RV.
Phase two will also include a significant amount of added solar. With 1200 watts it charged in a little over one day of full sun.
The bus will be receiving 4-5 more of the same sized arrays. The conventional solar array will be traded for a much lighter flexible panel set up. When we are finished, by May of 2017, we will have 5KW to charge with. The array will fold out and charge anywhere we choose to stop. The bus will be able to pull a minimum of 100 miles off the sun in one day!!
We will be adding about 27,000 dollars worth of improvements to the bus.
1. 48 Calb Lithium Iron phosphate 180 amphour cells....@$250 each for a total of $12,000
2. 40 150 watt semi-flexible solar panels. Kingsolar $300 each for a total of $12,000
3. Various aluminum for the mechanically folding rack $3,000
Join the effort as we will be driving the bus completely on sunshine from coast to coast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have until May to get ready....join the fun!!!!!
Contact me here!