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Old 09-12-2006, 06:05 PM
mmmPowerStroke mmmPowerStroke is offline
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Block heater powered by solar power???

Since winter is coming and I don't have a place to plug my truck into I was wondering if they make a solar powered block heater. I've seen a solar powered battery charger at ford once it was caked with dust and I think it was only like $50. If this device isn't out their I think it would be a great thing to make.
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99 F350 PowerStroke Dually
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:11 PM
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That interests me so much that I am passing on supper (actually just delaying it alittle) just to look up the logistics. I don't think anyone actually makes something suitable but I think a solar panel and deep cycle battery set on some sort of timer would work well. One draw back would be the actual output of the solar panel during winter... not sure how well it would actually work.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:13 PM
ssnh ssnh is offline
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my block heater is 1500 watts

i'd need 8 of these - http://www.wholesalesolar.com/produc...E/GEPV200.html
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:52 PM
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ok, so roughly 1500 watt draw. Brief research tells me solar panels run 6 watts/sqft on a good day. No idea if that is correct but it's a starting point.

Surface area of the hood and CC roof is 5.5x8.5 which is 46.75 sqft which is 320 watts continuous (on a great day). Dump that into 2 deep cycle batteries and then figure you need to run the heater for 2 hours every morning and... um... I just reached the limit of my knowledge. Not sure where to go next.

I would imagine you could buy a 2000 watt inverter to run off the batteries.

OR!

charge the deep cycles off your special built souped up alternator with only rooftop panels as back up. (cuts down on tackiness since no one can see the roof anyway)


either way, those two batteries would fit in the space along the frame under the bed with the inverter in the cab on the rear wall to use the heat output to warm the interior.

Feel free to correct or augment this idea. I'm tempted to try it out.
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(gauges, BD turbo, hpx , FRx, 6 pos. chip, 6637, turbo back 4", 255/85R16, '05 front end)
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:30 PM
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amiller93 amiller93 is offline
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Dont forget that if your heater draws 1500 watts running its initial peak start up draw is closer to 3000 watts. This is only a spike drain but if you cant provide for the spike you can in effect cause a "brown out" and damage the heater element.
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:19 PM
mmmPowerStroke mmmPowerStroke is offline
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I guess I will have to look at other options.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:43 PM
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rjmay rjmay is offline
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How does resistance heat (load) draw more electical amps during start up?
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmPowerStroke
Since winter is coming and I don't have a place to plug my truck into I was wondering if they make a solar powered block heater. I've seen a solar powered battery charger at ford once it was caked with dust and I think it was only like $50. If this device isn't out their I think it would be a great thing to make.
Theoretically possible to do, but practically impossible. My house has a hybrid system (both utility and solar power) and I can tell you that my panels which are about 4 feet long and 20" wide provide 70 watts at full sunlight, perpendicular to the sunlight. So for direct application you would need 20-30 of these panels at $400-$450 per panel . Of course you could build a system to charge deep cycle batteries (as I have - a 24 volt system), then hook an inverter to it...I can tell you that I have eight - 3' tall deep cycle batteries and a Trace inverter that could do the job, but it would kill the batteries in short order.

If I was away from AC and I needed to preheat the engine I'd get a diesel fuel powered preheater...I had one on my heavy truck years ago. Worked great!
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:12 AM
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