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      12-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #1
FormerRotor
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i3 Roof Dimensions for Solar

[EDIT: Updated original post with measurements from Karl C. Standard disclaimer: Use at your own risk; verify before use.]

Good morning all! Our company is soon to be the new owner of a 2017 i3 REX (should be receiving from CA in about 2 weeks), and I was wondering if we could get one of you kind Board Members to provide us a few roof panel measurements for a pet project (6 to be exact)...

A: 68", Measurement of full length from front to back
B: 53 1/2", Measurement of length from front of roof to front of shark fin antenna
C: 6 3/4", Measurement of Length from back of roof to back of shark fin antenna
D: 44 1//8", Width of roof at widest point in front of vehicle
E: 40 3/8", Width of roof directly in front of shark fin antenna
F: 18 1/8", Width of roof between edge of roof panel and widest edge of shark fin

I figured leaning on the benevolent board community would likely get this handled more easily (and less awkwardly) than me asking a random stranger in a parking lot if I could measure up their car (but I will stay on the lookout for the latter and be sure to update if successful).

Thank you in advance for your support!
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Last edited by FormerRotor; 01-24-2020 at 06:04 AM.. Reason: changing title for clarity and future searching
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      12-14-2019, 10:37 PM   #2
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In case anyone is wondering, yes we’re looking at roof-mounted solar (Possibly using high-efficiency thin-film). Looking forward to being a part of the BMWi community!
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      12-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #3
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I can get that info for you
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      12-22-2019, 01:31 PM   #4
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Updating with info provided by KarlC For anyone’s future reference...
A = 68"
B = 53 1/2"
C = 6 3/4"
D = 44 1/8"
F = 18 1/8"
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      01-20-2020, 06:23 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the Spot-On Measurements KarlC. We recieved the car last week and were able to rough in the panels & test charging from a secondary battery this evening.

A few images from my driveway this evening:





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      01-21-2020, 01:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FormerRotor View Post
Thanks again for the Spot-On Measurements KarlC. We recieved the car last week and were able to rough in the panels & test charging from a secondary battery this evening.

A few images from my driveway this evening:





Ok so now what ? How that actually work? Is something you selling ? Will charge the car? Can we get more info ?
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      01-21-2020, 04:36 PM   #7
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Ok so now what ? How that actually work? Is something you selling ? Will charge the car? Can we get more info ?
Not something we'll be selling (or something that is worth duplicating for most use cases); just figured the community may find it interesting.

I work for a commercial building energy efficiency company and we thought it would be good/fun (mostly to catch the eye for marketing's sake as the vehicle will be wrapped but also for utilitarian purposes) to have a solar generator in the vans from which we could charge tools, laptops, etc. In the case of our little i3, we decided to upsize the "generator", include a higher capacity inverter, add a ground-fault bypass via GFCI for the sake of seeing if it would successfully charge the car. Sure enough--it works (in the car's lowest Level 1 charge setting).

Currently the system includes...
- (4) 50w flexible monocrystalline panels
- (1) 3kwh "Generator" (for ease of removal) including 3kwh Lithium ion battery with built-in 120VAC, 12.5A (1500W, 3000W surge) inverter and MPPT solar charging optimizer
- (1) dedicated GFCI circuit for the sake of plugging the car into itself (mostly just for giggles) on which we'll likely add an extra plug in the cab for laptops, etc.

We didn't get into the electricals deep enough to see if you could interconnect to charge the car automatically (or while driving). Where there's a will there's a way, but if you wanted to charge the car off the existing solar set-up, you'd realistically only be getting around 850 to 1400 miles per year off the rooftop panels.

If you wanted to get fancy with it, you could install ultra-high-efficiency film over the entire roof surface (likely good for about 240w to 270w) and--possibly--hood and dig into the possibility of live-charging.
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      01-21-2020, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerRotor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myi3reXhandy View Post
Ok so now what ? How that actually work? Is something you selling ? Will charge the car? Can we get more info ?
Not something we'll be selling (or something that is worth duplicating for most use cases); just figured the community may find it interesting.

I work for a commercial building energy efficiency company and we thought it would be good/fun (mostly to catch the eye for marketing's sake as the vehicle will be wrapped but also for utilitarian purposes) to have a solar generator in the vans from which we could charge tools, laptops, etc. In the case of our little i3, we decided to upsize the "generator", include a higher capacity inverter, add a ground-fault bypass via GFCI for the sake of seeing if it would successfully charge the car. Sure enough--it works (in the car's lowest Level 1 charge setting).

Currently the system includes...
- (4) 50w flexible monocrystalline panels
- (1) 3kwh "Generator" (for ease of removal) including 3kwh Lithium ion battery with built-in 120VAC, 12.5A (1500W, 3000W surge) inverter and MPPT solar charging optimizer
- (1) dedicated GFCI circuit for the sake of plugging the car into itself (mostly just for giggles) on which we'll likely add an extra plug in the cab for laptops, etc.

We didn't get into the electricals deep enough to see if you could interconnect to charge the car automatically (or while driving). Where there's a will there's a way, but if you wanted to charge the car off the existing solar set-up, you'd realistically only be getting around 850 to 1400 miles per year off the rooftop panels.

If you wanted to get fancy with it, you could install ultra-high-efficiency film over the entire roof surface (likely good for about 240w to 270w) and--possibly--hood and dig into the possibility of live-charging.
That's cool, imagine the frunk can be use as the spot to put all that, the part to charge while it drives would be but crazy due the software and regulations and systems, but over all it sound like something I will like to have
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      01-22-2020, 04:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myi3reXhandy View Post
That's cool, imagine the frunk can be use as the spot to put all that, the part to charge while it drives would be but crazy due the software and regulations and systems, but over all it sound like something I will like to have
Frunk can be used with a bit of weather-proofing and heat management. In our case, we tossed the module in the trunk (where we’d be charging tools, etc) and ran the GFCI circuit to the frunk.

Where there’s a will there’s a way if anyone ever wanted to figure out live-charging. For a prototype full-roof/bonnet CIGS panel, the cost is exorbitant, but if 10+ folks banned together it wouldn’t be as bad (still pricey). Here’s what MiaSole/Hanergy did to a popular Kei car...
http://miasole.com/hanergy-touts-sol...hout-charging/

In a solar-optimized climate with someone who drives few daily miles/day (~10 miles), it could cut the need to plug in ~half. Makes zero financial sense given the costs, but playing with cars never does.
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      01-22-2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerRotor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myi3reXhandy View Post
That's cool, imagine the frunk can be use as the spot to put all that, the part to charge while it drives would be but crazy due the software and regulations and systems, but over all it sound like something I will like to have
Frunk can be used with a bit of weather-proofing and heat management. In our case, we tossed the module in the trunk (where we’d be charging tools, etc) and ran the GFCI circuit to the frunk.

Where there’s a will there’s a way if anyone ever wanted to figure out live-charging. For a prototype full-roof/bonnet CIGS panel, the cost is exorbitant, but if 10+ folks banned together it wouldn’t be as bad (still pricey). Here’s what MiaSole/Hanergy did to a popular Kei car...
http://miasole.com/hanergy-touts-sol...hout-charging/

In a solar-optimized climate with someone who drives few daily miles/day (~10 miles), it could cut the need to plug in ~half. Makes zero financial sense given the costs, but playing with cars never does.
Exactly that's the point, and make me wonder why still no coming out with a 100% self charging car yet with all this technology out there, but anyway line the concept, I was actually thinking on getting a small generator my sled to try out charging while I'm park at clients I do drive a lot at least 80-90 miles each day
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      01-24-2020, 04:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myi3reXhandy View Post
Exactly that's the point, and make me wonder why still no coming out with a 100% self charging car yet with all this technology out there, but anyway line the concept, I was actually thinking on getting a small generator my sled to try out charging while I'm park at clients I do drive a lot at least 80-90 miles each day
Makes sense to me! The convenience of having it is unbelievable & if it’s just for while you’re parked (and not for trimming the charge of the car or running power tools) you could easily do something small like a 200 or 400wh lithium ion with switchable charging from the cigarette lighter circuit and a line run to the cabin for ease of access.
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      02-04-2020, 07:39 AM   #12
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Its a good result for this solar roof. I want to install the same roof for my EV X6. I saw something like that in this article about 25 kW Solar System - Blog About Solar Energy | Websolarguide

Last edited by RickHarley; 02-06-2020 at 11:16 AM..
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      02-12-2020, 03:44 PM   #13
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Its a good result for this solar roof. I want to install the same roof for my EV X6. I saw something like that in this article about 25 kW Solar System - Blog About Solar Energy | Websolarguide

What size solar panel do I need to charge my electric car?
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      Today, 08:15 AM   #14
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What size solar panel do I need to charge my electric car?
The question falls more in the side of battery size vs. solar panel size. In nearly all applications, you're better off powering your home with Solar (especially if you life in a region with net metering), then powering your electric car with your home (if that's your objective).
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