- First Name
- Jun 1, 2020
- Reaction score
- Santa Fe
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Self employed
I’m thinking that any technical issues are solvable and also this retired person is not going to be driving daily. You have to stop to see the sights you know, which is also time to recharge batteries. Even the trip into Alice has plenty worthy to stop and see! My concern would be around those areas where sun might not be as plentifull in the tropical or dense forest areas.Oh, er, sure. It all depends on how much energy it takes to go a km and how much energy you can collect from the sun. A CT is probably going to need about 450 Wh/mi = 279 Wh/km. The first issue of concern is that when you tow anything it imposes additional demands on the battery. It takes energy to move a caravan just as it takes energy to move the truck. The main factors in that demand are the weight and drag characteristics of the towed vehicle. Without actually towing the caravan in question it will be difficult to estimate its consumption but it is not unusual for it to be equal to that of the truck implying a doubling of consumption and halving of the range that one can go on a kWh.
Now let's look at your array. 8 X 300W = 2.4 kW DC. You cannot pass that directly to the battery becuase the cells are arrayed such that the panels produce a low voltage (10's of volts) and the battery in the vehicle is close to 400 V. DC/DC conversion is necessary. Maximum Power Point tracking, while it prevents a lot of lost energy when the sun gets off zenith, produces some loss as well. So realistically your 300 W panels may produce more like 250W and that, a quarter of a kW, makes the math easier. Each panel will produce that quarter kW when the insolation striking it is 1 kW/square meter (full sun). So the next question is how many equivalent hours of full sun will those panels receive in a day. I always used to joke that the easiest job in the world would be weather forecaster for 8HA: "Tomorrow the weather in the Alice will be fine. For the remainder of the week it will be fine". So let's assume 7 hours a day (I'd have to know where you are and the time of year to make a more accurate estimate). That's 7/4 kWh energy collected by each panel each day or 56/4 = 14 kWh per day for the set of 8. Assuming 2*279 = 559 Wh/km this energy would carry you 14000/559 = 25 km.
Another aspect to all this is as to whether one would be able to take on any charge from either the trucks integral panels or from panels on an attached caravan. At this time it is only safe to assume that the answer with respect to the latter is "no" so that one would have to use the batteries on the caravan to charge house batteries and that the energy from the house batteries would have to be inverted and used to charge the CT through its charging port when stopped.